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Bloomsburry Family law

Vulnerable Clients

The elderly client and the Mental Health Act

For many people and their families, the difficulties of advancing age are compounded by the onset of mental health problems of one sort or another. Dementia is only one such condition; severe depression is also common, which is hardly surprising at a time of life when the rate of change, loss and physical pain is increasing. However, if the result is that the person concerned neglects his or her own needs, or puts his or her health or safety at risk in other ways, the psychiatric services may consider statutory involvement

The honest choice

In 1991//92 we were members of what was known as, The Shortfall Monitoring Group, this comprised of interested bodies including Age Concern, Care home proprietors and social services monitoring the effect and consequences of the level of income support being inadequate to fund the fees of residential accommodation. On the one hand it aimed to provide support for individuals and their families, who were under pressure to top up fees, facing the threat of eviction, downgrading of accommodation or use of personal allowances and remaining capital to fund fees. On the other hand it monitored the closure of care homes forced out of business by accommodating elderly people at below market rates

Consent to Treatment and the Mental Health Act 1983

Detained status of itself does not imply inability to give consent. For all treatments proposed for a detained patient, and which may be lawfully given under the Act, it is necessary first to seek the patients agreement and consent. It is the personal responsibility of the patients rmo (responsible medical officer) to ensure that the patients valid consent has been sought and the interview at which such consent was sought should be properly recorded.

Residential Care : The Regulatory Framework: Can it Help or Hinder Your Client?

The Government believes that entering residential or nursing home care should always be a positive choice. (Caring for People 1989) Community care is about changing the balance of services and finding the most suitable placement for people from a wide range of options. It is not about imposing a community solution as the only option, in the way that institutional care has been the only option for many people in the past. (Making a reality of community care, Audit Commission 1986)

Equity Release Scheme

For the elderly equity release schemes can prove a useful financial tool; providing, as they do a way in which the equity in property can be released to provide extra security in retirement.

Community Care Case Reports

Since the landmark cases of Sefton and Gloucestershire, there have been a number of cases that have gone through the Courts, which do have an impact on the provision of community care services for clients. Anne Edis reports on the principle cases.

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