Whilst our politicians tie themselves in knots over what should happen in the coming days and weeks with UK and Europe, at bdb our minds have been turning to some of the longer term challenges our clients (and the rest of the world for that matter) will face in the coming decades.
The fact is we are all living longer, which is great news! A 21 year old woman today has a one in four chance of reaching age 100. Time is one of those priceless commodities our clients value so highly when considering what a truly successful life looks like. Time to spend with friends and family, time to gather experiences and memories or time to pursue their passions whatever they may be.
Nevertheless, like so much in life there is another side of the coin. How will these longer lives be paid for? Will we have to work longer? Will I have quality of life in my later years? How do I plan for the costs of my care?
Dementia can be a difficult subject to consider for some, yet it is one which comes up so often in our conversations with clients when it comes to planning for their needs and those of their family. I recently had three lengthy conversations in only one week with clients directly on this subject and I am sure I am not alone in this. Many of the team here also have direct experience of helping family members meet the challenge of this cruel condition. Here in Yorkshire we are particularly affected and the situation is predicted to worsen with 1,000,000 dementia sufferers in the UK by 2025. The Dementia challenge is a global one and I for one would like to see it given the attention it needs if we are to avoid a long term crisis. On current form I am not holding my breath on anyone in Westminster getting properly to grips with this any time soon.
Whether we like it or not, this is something that will affect us all. Whilst we hope for medical advances in the coming decades, there are a few things everyone can do now which could prove priceless down the line.
Be Financially Organised
From direct experience I can say that being financially organised can relieve a huge burden if an individual who has historically led on a family’s financial matters loses capacity to continue to do so. Working with a financial planner means that in this event, the personal finances can continue to run relatively seamlessly with full knowledge of where everything is, and how it fits with the plan.
Get a Lasting Power of Attorney
Being organised is not enough. It can quickly come unstuck where there is no Power of Attorney. We help all of our clients to get this in place regardless of age. If a person lacks capacity to make decisions around their health or finances, it can only be practically managed with the help of the Court of Protection. This can be a complex, lengthy and costly process which is entirely avoidable. It is not a costly thing to get set up, yet so many of the clients who come to us just haven’t yet got round to do so.
Become a Dementia Friend
It's not all doom and gloom. When we became dementia friends here at bdb we learned about how we can help ourselves and people with dementia communicate better and ultimately enhance the quality of their and our lives. I would recommend anyone get in touch with them and become a dementia friend, we gained a lot of knowledge which if the Alzheimers society are correct, we will all be putting to use in the future.
Matt Kiddle ~ Operations Director