Making Decisions

If the person you care for has a condition that impacts their capacity you may need to consider thinking about ways you can make decisions on their behalf. Alternatively you or the person you care for may want to make some decisions now about future care and support.

What is Mental Capacity?

Mental capacity means you can make your own decisions by being able to:

  • understand all the information you need to make that decision,
  • use or think about that information,
  • remember that information, and
  • communicate your decision to someone else.

Why should you do it now?

  • 1 in 3 of us will suffer dementia
  • Many of us will retain mental capacity, but will physically struggle to manage our affairs at some point in our life
  • A person might have a mental health condition that causes them to lose their capacity when unwell, this is called fluctuating capacity
  • A person might be severely disabled from birth or early childhood and never have capacity
  • Being married or asking your chosen person to act for you is not enough – you need to legally give them the power to help you

Ways to make decisions for someone else

Lasting Power of Attorney

Someone who still has capacity can appoint someone else to make decisions on their behalf or manage their finances in the event they lose capacity. Click here to find out more.


You can become a deputy for someone who has lost mental capacity, this allows you manage their affairs and make decisions on their behalf. Find out more here at


You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who cannot manage their own affairs because they’re mentally incapable or severely disabled. Find out more here at

Ways to make decisions about future care and support

Living Will

Allows a person to make a decision about their future treatment in the event they are unable be part of the decision at the time. This is legally binding. Find out more here at Age UK.

Advanced Care Planning

Advance care planning offers people the opportunity to plan their future care and support, including medical treatment, while they have the capacity to do so. Find out more here at Dementia UK.