The short answer is yes! It is a question we are asked a lot when we are speaking to families.
Mental capacity has to be decision specific, there may be a lack of understanding in one area but not in another. For instance if a person is found to lack capacity regarding their care and treatment needs, it is really important that the person is still involved as much as possible in care decisions.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) estimates that around 2 million people in England and Wales may lack the capacity to make certain decisions for themselves at some point because of illness, injury or disability. However it is important to note that ‘A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him do so have been taken without success.’ (Principle 2, section 1(3), Mental Capacity Act 2005)
A best interest meeting, with all those involved in their care is essential to protect the vulnerable.
Also those who lack capacity still have a right to make choices and if the wrong decision is made on their behalf, they may not be happy which can lead to a deterioration in their health.
Assessing mental capacity can be daunting for friends and family so we take the time to explain everything at each step on the journey. We will be answering a number of questions each week on our blog so please get in touch if you have a question you would like answering.
If you would like to find out more about Mental Capacity Assessments then please contact me