Dealing with dementia
Last week, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we republished an article explaining the regulations and practices that govern how we deal with clients affected by dementia and other forms of mental incapacity.
This is a subject close to my heart as my grandfather Trevor suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for five years before his death. Alzheimer’s is the commonest form of dementia, accounting for 60% to 70% of cases. It is a horrendous disease that can rob sufferers of their dignity. As wealth tends to accumulate over a lifetime, it is an illness with which investment management firms are regrettably familiar.
We received some very good feedback from clients when the article was originally published. Many said that they were glad that we had raised this uncomfortable, but important subject and had offered some practical advice on dealing with mental incapacity. One elderly client said it was her biggest fear, but that she had complete faith in her investment manager to handle the issue appropriately, yet with sensitivity.
I recommend you read the article to remind yourself of the key issues and check that your approach meets best practice. At Rathbones, we feel we’re well placed to deal with the issue as our investment managers have direct relationships with their clients that often go back years. This offers clients an extra layer of reassurance.