20th-26th May 2019 is Dementia Action Week. In 2018-19 POhWER supported 8,782 people with Dementia.

The following are two client stories that show how POhWER have supported people with Dementia.

Nigel's story

Nigel has a diagnosis of dementia and had been admitted to hospital due to experiencing hallucinations and repeated falls. He had been found wandering in the neighbourhood on a number of occasions and returned home.

Nigel was in an assessment bed at a residential home and was deemed to lack capacity to make a decision about where he should reside on his discharge.

As well as discussions with the Decision Maker and home manager, POhWER’s Independent Mental Capacity Advocate, iane met with Nigel, who remained articulate despite his cognitive impairment.  By building rapport with Nigel by discussing his interests and past life Diane established that despite his short-term memory deficits, he is still able to give a good account of himself and express his wishes and feelings appropriately.

It became clear that Nigel retains enough information about his circumstances to know that he is not at home and that this causes him great anguish. He also seemed able to appreciate the need for a robust care package at home. Nigel talked about missing his dog and feels all control over his life has been removed since he was placed in a residential home.

Whilst consideration was given to Nigel remaining in residential care, it was felt this would adversely impact his mental health. Diane therefore recommended a home care package be trialled for Nigel and regularly reviewed in case it was not working. This would allow Nigel to continue to live with an element of control over his life. 

The decision maker agreed this was the least restrictive option and commented:

“Your feedback has been most helpful. Plans are currently being made for Nigel to return home with a package of homecare and for an assistive technology re-assessment to take place”.

Patricia's Story

Patricia is 85 and has dementia. She was detained in hospital under section 2 of the Mental Health Act (MHA). Our Independent Mental Health Advocate, Julia approached Patricia on the ward, introduced herself and explained her advocacy role. Julia became concerned that Patricia did not appear to understand why she was detained or to understand what the rights and processes were under the MHA. Julia felt that Patricia did not have capacity to instruct. It was noted in Patricia’s paperwork that she lacked capacity.

Julia delivered non-instructed advocacy. She spoke to Patricia at length about herself, how she was feeling, what her life was like outside of hospital. Patricia stated she felt closed up tight because she wanted to go home.

Julia felt that, had Patricia had the capacity to understand her rights under the MHA, she would have instructed an appeal and gone through the tribunal process. Therefore, Julia requested an appeal on her behalf.

When Julia contacted the MHA administrator to follow-up she was informed that upon attempting to organise the appeal the decision had been made to take Patricia off section; this meant that she could return home.