The main learning points of this week are that:
- Mental capacity is defined as the ability to make decisions.
- Mental capacity relates to a particular decision, at a particular time. The decision can be an everyday matter such as what to wear or a more significant matter such as where to live.
- When a person is judged to be unable to make a decision for themselves they are said to lack mental capacity.
- Everyone needs to understand the concept of mental capacity because even if you and your loved ones have mental capacity at the moment, it’s quite possible this will change.
- People may lack mental capacity due to dementia, mental health problems, learning disabilities, brain injuries, substance misuse, illness or treatment of illness.
- A person’s mental capacity can fluctuate from day to day.
You should now be able to:
- define mental capacity
- explain why understanding mental capacity is important and for whom
- describe mental capacity in terms of time and decision making.
Next week, you look at the central theme of mental capacity: decision making.