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Mental Health Initiative is ‘Overlooking’ Elderly Warns Lawyer

Tracy Ashby mfg SolicitorsA landmark initiative to tackle the stigma around mental health is overlooking the elderly, a leading Midlands lawyer has warned.

The alert comes from care expert Tracy Ashby who says the Time for Change project, launched by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt with backing from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, risks becoming a missed opportunity to help older people.

Ms Ashby, a partner from mfg Solicitors, who advises on matters affecting older people, has praised the £20 million project for its work to tackle mental health issues, but fears it is being targeted towards the younger generation.

Among her concerns is a lack of focus on the financial implications of a relative developing Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

“The Time for Change initiative is a hugely important, long overdue project to tackle the stigma of mental health and I am all for it,” Ms Ashby said.

“However, it focusses a lot on the younger generation and I fear this may be overlooking the elderly, particularly those suffering with the terrible effects of dementia and Alzheimers.

“One in four of us will be affected by mental health issues and while more is now being done to raise awareness, dementia is still less spoken about.

“I would have liked to have seen the Government tackle this through Time for Change and inform people of the help they can get, how to access social services or make sure a person’s home is safe for them to continue living in should their spouse need to go into a care home. I’d have also liked to see more advice about the costs people are expected to pay towards their care if they pass a certain threshold for assets.

“As vitally important as this initiative is, I fear it is a missed opportunity to help the elderly. People have to make themselves aware and get advice as early as possible on matters such as Lasting Powers of Attorney, which can help them to manage their loved ones’ affairs, before it is too late.”

Ms Ashby, a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, is now offering families 15 minutes’ advice free of charge to help them prepare.

For more information about Wills, Court of Protection issues and Lasting Powers of Attorney, or to enquire about taking up the 15 minutes’ free advice, readers can contact Tracy Ashby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0845 55 55 321.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2016 14:57

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