ENABLE RIGHTS AND CHOICES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DEMENTIA WHILST MINIMISING RISKS 1 UNDERSTAND KEY LEGISLATION AND AGREED WAYS OF WORKING THAT SUPPORT THE FULFILMENT OF RIGHTS AND CHOICES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DEMENTIA WHILE MINIMISING RISK OF HARM 1.1
The key legislations are Adult and Incapacity Act 2000, Mental Health Act 2007, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Human Rights Act. These are all core principals of legislation regarding an individual with dementia. Policies and procedures and agreed ways of working and safeguarding Individuals is another key factor.
All organisations and authorities have a duty of care towards an Individual with dementia, GPs, Social Workers, Health Visitors, Family and Carers. All Individuals with dementia have the rights to make choices. Individuals with dementia should be encouraged to make as many decisions as possible for them; however they must be guided so they stay within the Mental Capacity Act 2005. We must assume that the Individual with dementia has capacity unless it has been assumed that they lack the capacity to make choices. We must not think that an Individual is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless this has been established.
An Individual is not to be treated as unable to make a decision because they might not always make a wise decision. If a decision is made under the Mental Capacity Act on behalf of the Individual, the decision must be made for the best interests of the Individual. Before a decision can be made on behalf of the Individual we must ask ourselves whether the purpose of the decision can be effectively achieved in a way that would not restrict the Individuals rights and freedom of choice and action. We also have to adhere to the Human Rights Act and code of Practises.
The Individual with dementia will have to be risk assessed. The Individual will be encouraged to make their own choices and decisions, if they make an unwise decision they should be offered other options which will help lead them to make a wise decision. Risk needs to be balanced with Independence and Individuals choices and working within legislations. We should not assume that all Individuals with dementia are vulnerable; this depends entirely on the stages of dementia. We should not restrict the Individuals from having choices and making decisions for themselves.
Risk assessments can be very complex as no two assessors will come to the same conclusion regarding the Individual. We have to let the Individual with dementia take a certain amount of risk for themselves, allowing this to happen makes the Individual feel worthy and independent and more at ease with their illness. If we were to put everything an Individual did down as a risk the Individual would feel worthless, inadequate, and useless and they would feel that they are a burden on their family. We have to weigh up the risk against the danger this is the key. If we were to take away all the choices and decisions and have someone else make these decisions and choices on behalf of the Individual this would have a negative impact on the Individual as they would be having everything took away from them and they wouldn’t feel in control. A positive impact on allowing the Individual to take risks, the Individual can still do their day to day activities etc, make their own meals, make cups of tea, do their own housework, laundry, take bathes, go for walks. Wherever possible we should eliminate high risks and look at ways to reduce these risks so they become low risks etc, supporting an Individual to make their meal observing them so they don’t hurt themselves, or accompany them on a walk etc.
People with dementia may have other difficulties too, like loss of hearing, make sure that the hearing aids are working well and that you speak to them in a loud clear voice so they can understand you. The person could also be in pain or...
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