Keeping the person involved

Dad can’t answer the doctors’ questions properly but I think he still should be involved in the decisions about his treatment somehow. What can we do?


  • Assessing capacity is not always clear-cut. A person may have capacity to make simple decisions but not more complex ones. Their capacity may vary according to their level of stress and general health.
  • Apart from cases of acute illness or serious accident, people do not lose capacity suddenly. With dementia, capacity is usually lost gradually over time.
  • Even if a person is considered to have lost capacity to give consent, it is important to keep trying to get their input into any decisions made about their care and treatment.

You should explain the situation to them. Every effort should be made to understand what they are expressing verbally or by their actions. These expressions should be incorporated when a substituted judgement is made – what the carer believes the person would have chosen himself.