Decision-making, advance care planning and the Mental Capacity Act 2005

2. Decision-making and capacity

Being able to make a decision is called having capacity. Dementia can affect a person’s ability to make decisions because it can affect the parts of the brain involved in remembering, understanding and processing information. This does not necessarily mean that a person with a diagnosis of dementia lacks capacity to make decisions – capacity is time and decision specific. Because dementia is progressive, it is likely that a person with dementia’s capacity will reduce over time. The rate and the extent to which this happens will depend on the individual and the type of dementia they have. A good understanding of the person and the support they might need is essential in making sure that people with dementia are able to make their own decisions for as long as possible.