Mental Capacity Act

People with dementia often become unable to make some decisions for themselves as their condition progresses. When this happens, the person is said to 'lack capacity'. The Mental Capacity Act is the law in England and Wales that protects and supports these people, and outlines who can and should make decisions on their behalf.

The Mental Capacity Act covers important decision-making relating to an individual's property, financial affairs, and health and social care. It also applies to everyday decisions, such as personal care, what to wear and what to eat. It can help people with dementia, their carers and professionals to make decisions, both now and in the future. This section explains what mental capacity is, outlines the key principles or rules of the Act, and looks at how it can be applied when planning for the future.

Issues around mental capacity can be complicated, however there is a very helpful, jargon-free Code of Practice available on the gov.uk website that you might find useful.

Northern Ireland has different laws around mental capacity.