Taking part in Nexus’s carer involvement group

This week SPIDER had the chance to speak at Cavamh Nexus’s carer involvement group in Penarth. The event is for people with dementia to come and discuss matters which affect them. It is open to all users of older persons’ mental health services in Cardiff and the Vale.

We had the chance to speak about the work the SPIDER project has been doing on Work package 2 around designing new enablement services that focus on individuals with early on-set dementia.

It was really valuable to hear from a variety of carer’s and NHS staff about the issues they are facing. It was especially interesting to hear from Julia Barrell, Mental Capacity Act Manager on the ‘Mental capacity act’. The Mental Capacity Act 2005, covers England and Wales and aims to provide a statutory framework for people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, or who have capacity and want to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future. It sets out who can take decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about this.

The mental capacity act aims to empower people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible, and protect people who lack capacity by providing a flexible framework that places individuals at the very heart of the decision-making process. It protects the individuals right to make their own decisions and to be involved in any decisions that might affect them.

The Act contains five key principles:

  1. A presumption of capacity: That every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and is assumed to have capacity to do so unless they have an assessment showing that they do not.
  2. The right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions: People must be given all appropriate help before anyone concludes that they cannot make their own decisions.
  3. Individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as eccentric or unwise decisions.
  4. Any decisions that are made for people without capacity must be made in their best interests.
  5. Anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.

The aims of the Mental capacity act fit really well with the type of services we have been designing as part of the SPIDER project. By giving the user the confidence to carry out the tasks for themselves it aims to ensure that individuals with dementia are able to maintain a high quality of life for longer.

Find out more about the ‘Mental capacity act’ here

Leave a Reply