How the Dementia Law Clinic helped me...

Carol Garrett is our Greater Manchester Area Manager, however recently Carol accessed one of our services as a service user, rather than an employee.

"I recently accessed Making Space's Dementia Law Clinic as a service user. My mum, who was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, was initially looked after by my dad who acted as her main carer. When my dad passed away last December, aged 91, I became my mum's appointee. 

After my dad passed away my mum became much more poorly, which necessitated her going into residential care. That’s when I started to experience problems with her financial affairs, and it was causing a huge amount of stress for me.

As my mum's appointee, which means I’m officially recognised by the Department of Work & Pensions and the local authority as being able to manage my mum’s financial affairs, I went to my mum’s bank to arrange for a card so I could pay the fees for the residential home.

The bank initially said I couldn't have the card, as they had no idea what being an appointee meant and had to go away and Google it which really shocked me. 

The bank eventually told me I could have a card of my own, if my mum's balance was reduced to a certain amount. So essentially they were saying I’d have to continue using her card.

I felt that this was morally wrong, and it left me with a huge dilemma – I had to pay the fees, but I was very uncomfortable doing what the bank suggested, which was basically to help myself to half of the money in my mum's account."

Making Space Dementia Law Clinic

"I found out about the Dementia Law Clinic, and arranged an appointment to see their solicitor. Unfortunately, on the day I got stuck in traffic and missed my allotted time, but the solicitor was happy to speak to me over Skype. He put me at my ease straight away. He talked me through all the options available and recommended that I go for a deputyship rather than power of attorney. 

He went away and did some more research, and then within a few days I'd received a huge amount of information, along with all the relevant forms to complete. A few days later he got back in touch to make sure that I understood everything and had everything I needed. 

Without the law clinic I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do. I’d probably have applied for power of attorney, which would have cost quite a lot of money and taken a long time to sort out. The deputyship won’t cost anything, and the law clinic did all the work for me.

I can’t praise the service highly enough – from start to finish they put me at my ease and it was such a relief to be able to deal with someone who was clearly knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful.

I’d been so frustrated and worried and didn’t have a clue what to do, and the bank was advising me to do something which I felt was morally wrong. Now, thanks to the law clinic, the situation is resolved and I’m able to concentrate on caring for my mum instead of worrying about her affairs."

Find out more infomation and how you can access our dementia law clinics here.

Thank you to Carol for sharing your story. Find out how you can share your stories with us.