Older People

Older People with Memory Problems

Community Mental Health Teams

Community Mental Health Teams for Older People (over 65 years of age) exist in many parts of Devon. These teams include community psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, and psychologists and often have close working links with Social Services staff.

Mental health services are provided jointly by Social Services and the NHS working together in the Devon Partnership Trust.

These services vary; some are specialist, some generic. They include community support/home care, carers support and groups, respite stays in residential homes, outreach and day services (some specialist), and sitting services. Some services are located in community hospital settings and usually include memory assessment clinics, inpatient assessments, and day services. Other services are organised by organisations such as Age Concern.

Some teams cover more than just memory loss and help with a full range of mental health problems in older people such as depression, anxiety, dementia and schizophrenia.

Either contact your nearest Adult services office or talk to the GP about referring to a Community Mental Health Team for Older People.

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Dementia

For more information on dementia, please visit the dementia page.

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Court of Protection

When someone becomes mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs, they are usually unable to give that responsibility to someone else. If provision has already been made for this situation by appointing an Attorney - under an Enduring Power of Attorney - that Attorney must apply for registration once the person is, or is becoming, mentally incapable. When no provision has been made, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone else to manage those affairs.

The Court of Protection is an office of the Supreme Court of Judicature. It appoints Receivers, makes Enduring Powers of Attorney, appointments new trustees, authorises certain gifts and makes statutory wills. The Public Guardianship Office (PGO) is the administrative arm of the Court of Protection and application forms to be appointed as a Receiver can be downloaded from The Court of Protection website.

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Power of Attorney

The most common types of Power of Attorney in England and Wales are:

Ordinary Power of Attorney

Usually, an Ordinary Power of Attorney is created for a set period of time in cases where the Donor is going abroad or is unable to act for some other reason and wishes someone else to have the authority to act on his or her behalf. An Ordinary Power of Attorney will usually end either at a specified time or upon the request of the Donor at any time using a Deed of Revocation and will automatically be revoked if the Donor loses mental capacity. There is no requirement for the Ordinary Power of Attorney to be registered.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

In contrast, an Enduring Power of Attorney allows the Donor to appoint a legally authorised person to look after their property and financial affairs should they become incapable of doing so themselves at some point in the future. It continues after the Donor has become mentally incapable of managing his or her affairs and must be registered when the Attorney becomes aware or has reason to believe that the Donor has become or is becoming mentally incapable.

Anyone can make an Enduring Power of Attorney, provided they are considered capable of understanding the meaning and effect of the EPA they wish to make. This is important, and if anyone has doubts about such capacity in themselves or a loved one, they should seek advice or guidance from a solicitor or a doctor.

More information can be obtained from the Public Guardianship Office, and application forms can be downloaded too.