The the individuals best interests considered. Or,

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legislations put in place all positively affect individuals with dementia,
learning disabilities and mental health conditions in their everyday life. For
example, the human rights act enables all individuals the right to be treated
equally and fairly in all that they do. In their day to day life, the human
rights act ensures that there individuals are not discriminated against, I.e.
they have the right to be included in all activities regardless of their condition.
The mental capacity act greatly affects all individuals and their day to day
lives. If an individual is assessed to not have capacity, all decisions that
are to be made for the individual (even if it deciding what to eat) will all be
made with the individuals best interests considered. Or, however, an individual
may only be able to (or have the capacity to) have short term decisions, such
as what to have to drink or to eat, then the mental health capacity will come
in to place to ensure that the individual has the best decisions made for them
regarding health, finance and wellbeing. The equality act affects these individuals’
everyday lives by ensuring that regardless of their condition or situation, all
individuals are included. For example, in the workplace, the equality act
ensures that all individuals should be included or asked (for example, it could
be asking everyone if they would like a hot drink, but ensuring that I am also
offering a hot drink for the individual with dementia who will need
encouragement and support). The care act ensures that if individuals make
decisions, then they have the best support available to them. If an individual
decides to have equipment at home to help them, the care act ensures that the
individuals have the best support and assistance when deciding equipment and
adjusting to everyday life with it.

                         The term capacity refers to
an individual’s competence by law. An individual’s capacity is usually
questioned within the care setting, regarding an individual’s capacity and
their ability to make decisions. Capacity is also referred to how much an
individual can do something or they can do it at all. People with mental health
conditions, learning disabilities or dementia may or may not have capacity but
within the healthcare setting, it is important that we first assume that
someone has capacity unless it is proved that they do not.

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                                                  It is important to assume that someone has
capacity to promote independence and provide efficient support. A person has
capacity if:

v  They can show that they are
thinking about decisions and weighs different options

v  They are able to express
their decision or response (regardless of their way of communication)

v  Process information

v  Hold and remember

you assume that someone does not have capacity before evidence, then you may be
making the wrong or unsafe decisions for that particular individual and you are
not promoting independence. All decisions that are made for someone who lacks
capacity should be made in the individual’s best interest.

                                                                                       Consent means to give
permission or agreeing for something to be done or to happen. In the hospital
setting, written and verbal consent will be needed before such things as
operations or procedures. Consent is usually asked more than once even if it is
for the same thing – just to ensure that the individual is still consenting it.
Everything needs the individual’s consent, with the exception of certain cases.
For example, consent isn’t needed for emergency or life-saving procedures/medication
isn’t needed. However, once the individual’s health has improved everything
that was provided and the reason behind it is explained to the individual.
Consent also is not needed when an individual is a threat to public health
(such as if an individual has TB). If an individual does not have the capacity
to make decisions, the next of kin would legally be able to make decisions. All
decisions made on behalf of an individual, professional or not, should always
be Assessments
of capacity may need to be made of an individual if they cannot:

Ø  Process information

Ø  Weigh out options

Ø  Remember the information

Ø  Make a decision

Ø  Remember the decision

assessments may be made if an individual is showing any possible signs of
lacking capacity. Capacity assessments may be made if a person cannot show
signs of processing information or showing that they cannot make or hold
decisions or understand the decisions that they have made. An example of this
would be if an individual makes a decision in the morning of what they want to
eat later in the day, and they get the meal later in the day, questioning why
they have that certain food and that they do not like it. This may make medical
professionals to question their ability of capacity and possible ensure that
they have a capacity assessment. Another example where an individual may need a
capacity assessment is if they decide they want to do something or have chosen
something, and when questioned later about why they chose to do it, they may
not be able to remember why they chose to or remember the other options that
were available to them.  An individual
may also have an advance statement. An advanced statement (otherwise known as
an ADRT) is a letter, signed and agreed by the individual that states what the
individual wants and doesn’t want in regards to their individual care in the
future. It is important for future care as an individual may lose capacity due
to deteriorating condition, so having an ADRT allows for medical professionals
and family members to legally give care that the individual wants, even if they
no longer have capacity.


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