Health and care professionals have a legal responsibility to always assume an individual has the capacity to make a decision themselves, unless it is proved otherwise through a capacity assessment. You can only make a decision for someone else if all practical steps to help them to make a decision have been taken without success.
Watch the video below for more information on the Mental Capacity Act:
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) If the person you care for is 18 or over and has their mental capacity, they can apply for an LPA to handle their personal
welfare or financial matters. They appoint an attorney, who can make decisions on their behalf. There is usually a fee to register an attorney, but the applicant exemption.
Watch the video below for details on making an LPA
You can download the forms and instructions by following this link: Click here.
Appointing a deputy When a person lacks capacity to make decisions about their health, welfare or finances, you can apply to be a deputy for all,
An advance decision This gives the person an opportunity to make decisions now, about specific treatments they may not want to receive in the future. It is legally binding.
An advance statement This gives the person the opportunity to set out, verbally or in writing, any wishes or values they hold so that these are taken into account by the people who are looking after them. For example: diet, lifestyle or religious views. This is not legally binding.
Changing the care location If the person you are caring for needs to move into independent, residential, nursing or sheltered housing, there are a number of considerations, including what they want and need.
Here is a useful checklist for changing care accommodation. You can also call our Advice Line.
What the cared-for person feels that they want and need, if they are able to express these.
• Your needs as a carer and the amount and type of care you want to, or are able to, provide in the future.
• Advice from the cared-for person’s social worker or health worker e.g. GP.
• The cared-for person’s health needs.
• The cared-for person’s physical needs e.g. how mobile they are, and the extent to which they can cope with day-to-day living; shopping, washing, cleaning, personal care.
• How near, or far away, from their existing location the cared-for person wants, or needs to live.
• The cared-for person’s social needs for friendship, activities, leisure enjoyment.
• Who you, and the cared for person, can talk to about options e.g. GP, social worker.
• Types of accommodation e.g.; sheltered housing, nursing home, shared room in a private house.
• Whether you can go and have a look in advance.
• What’s provided – and how much it will cost.
• Whether a care home meets quality standards.
• Your legal rights.
You can download Your Guide to Care and Support for Adults here:
Palliative care services aim to make the end-of-life for people affected by life-limiting illness as comfortable as possible. They include end-of-life services for people in the last year of their life. You can talk to the cared-for person’s GP, or other health or social care professional, about their needs. Norfolk Carers Advice Line has details about palliative care services, including local hospices. 0808 808 9876. Links to some hospices in Norfolk are below:
An Advance Care Plan is designed to help people prepare for the future and write down their preferences and priorities for care at the end of life. The plan, called a “Thinking Ahead Yellow Folder”, is kept in the house for reference. It can be shared with the people looking after the cared-for person, and their GP, or other health or social care professionals, so that they know the person’s preferences for their care. These people can also help the person to complete the plan.
You can get a copy from your GP or District Nurse or print from the website below.