Families urged to use law to protect elderly parents

FAMILIES are being urged to protect elderly parents and relatives after concerns over the rising number of dementia cases.

Edinburgh-based family law firm Gibson Kerr is recommending that people secure control over ageing relatives' affairs now to ensure they can help them if they become ill in their final years.

Across the country the number of over-65s is expected to rise by 21 per cent over a ten-year period to 2016. There are 69,500 people in Scotland with dementia, but Alzheimer Scotland expects the number to hit 127,000 by 2031.

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Gibson Kerr is advising those with ageing parents and relatives to seek Power of Attorney over their affairs.

Partner Fiona Rasmusen said: "Dementia is a big worry for clients coming to us now, but in reality there are numerous ways that someone could be left unable to make their own decisions.

"If someone has been granted Power of Attorney they will be able to deal with anything from paying the person's bills to dealing with their welfare issues, like helping them move into a care home if they need to. "