The Mental Capacity Act empowers and protects people who are not able to make their own decisions. This covers decisions about property and financial affairs, health, welfare and where they live.
It sets out who can make decisions, when and how. It applies to anyone aged 16 or over and sets out a framework for assessing whether a person lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. This might be because of brain injury; a stroke; dementia; mental health problems; alcohol or drug misuse; side effects of medical treatment; or other illness or disability.
The act supports you if you want to plan in case you are unable to make your own decisions in the future, or if you currently find it difficult to make decisions some or all of the time as a result of illness or disability. The following video has been produced by Dorset County Council and explains what the Act says and when a person may not be able to make certain decisions for themselves:
The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice provides guidance to all those who care for and/or make decisions on behalf of adults who lack capacity. The code includes case studies and clearly explains in more detail the key features of the Mental Capacity Act.
There are lots of great online resources to help you to understand your rights and those that you care about:
• Social care institute for excellence – rights under the mental capacity act