Perhaps if those who are being assessed is FIRST asked, would you be happy to be in pain after a fall, not be able to get up after a fall, not be able to call for help after a fall and then see what they say. And THEN weigh that up with their comprehension of not needing help!Mental capacity requires someone to be able to understand, use and retain information specific to the subject matter. Basically, I might be able to tell you what I do or do not want in terms of my care but with more complex things like financial issues I may not be able to comprehend and retain that information. For those of you saying that she only needs to understand for a minute or a very short period of time, that is not true and very flaky foundations for any claim that a person had capacity at the time of signing such a document. A person with capacity should be able to make their own decisions about the matter in question, even if that decision seems unwise. This may be seen in cases where someone insists they remain living in their own home even where they may be at risk, let's say of repeated falling as an example, providing they understand the consequences of repeated falls such as long term hospital stays, permanent damage, not being able to get up unassisted and the risks associated with spending lengthy amounts of time on the floor etc.
Social services will assist you with making a judgement in respect of mental capacity in relation to specific matters. They tend to do it better than a lot of doctors in my opinion, but I'm biased I'm a student social worker with a law degree!
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