The incapacity crisis –

a nation unprepared

Make sure your wishes are heard

As SFE’s report reveals, people rarely think about possible future mental incapacity even though we are worried about it.

As a nation, we are failing to talk about what our wishes would be for our later life, should we lose the ability to make our own decisions. (See our short video for more details)

SFE’s report suggests the UK is now facing an incapacity crisis. This is caused by the rising number of us facing incapacity (due to living longer and the prevalence of conditions like dementia) and the fact that too few of us are planning ahead should we no longer be able to make decisions for ourselves.

This paints a worrying picture of us as a nation leaving our fate in the hands of strangers. Whilst more of us are making provisions for our personal assets and finances, we are still leaving our wishes around our health and care to chance and the choices of others. Our research found that over three quarters of us have not spoken about our personal medical and care wishes in the event that we lose mental capacity.

So, we encourage everybody to act now by thinking about your wishes, having the conversation with your loved ones and getting a health and welfare lasting power of attorney in place before it’s too late.

Campaign report

Useful links & organisations

How we can help with Lasting Powers of Attorney

Media coverage

Top tips PDF


Myth: A staggering 47% of people believe that a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is issued by your doctor and is placed on your medical records for every future decision.

Fact: A DNR order does not travel with you. Each time you move locations (ie. to a different hospital or to a care home), a new DNR order needs to be created. However, if you embed a DNR request in a H&W LPA, it makes your wishes known wherever you are as your attorney can show the document to all the professionals involved in your care.


Myth: 65% of people believe their next of kin can make their medical and care decisions for them, should they not be able to.

Fact: Only doctors acting in your best interest have the authority to make the final medical and care decisions for you, with or without the consent of your spouse/relatives, should you not be able to make them yourself. Any disputes will be referred to the Court of Protection.



Did you know?

70% of Brits would want their family to make their medical and care decisions on their behalf if they were unable to make them themselves, and 79% of Brits haven’t discussed their medical or care wishes or later life with their loved ones.

Did you know?

58% of Britons believe that by being on the NHS organ donor register ensures that organs are donated. This is a myth; it’s important to speak to family and friends about organ donation preferences – if they do not know you have opted to donate, it may not happen. Embedding your decision in a H&W LPA confirms your wishes in writing.