Making decisions and managing difficult situations

Living with dementia involves making a wide range of decisions, including those about practical and ethical issues. As dementia progresses, some of these decisions will fall to a carer. Carers often ask at what point they take over the decision-making process, and on what basis they should make them. The answers to these questions will vary between people and situations. However, there are some guidelines that should be used as the basis for all decision making.

As someone’s dementia progresses, their cognitive (mental) abilities will decline, which will affect their ability to make their own decisions. When this happens, carers, family and health and social care professionals will need to become more involved in the decision-making process.

This section offers guidance to carers on the relevant law (the Mental Capacity Act 2005). It also offers advice on how to approach decisions in a range of difficult areas.