This site has been developed with the support of Wakefield Healthwatch citizen’s panel and partner organisations across Wakefield District. If you have any feedback on the site please email


After Diagnosis

After diagnosis you may want to get your affairs and paperwork in order for the future. This may include:

  • Updating your will
  • Setting up a Power of Attorney (this will allow someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to)
  • Advance decisions to refuse treatment
  • Claiming Benefits

Your Finances

There are things you can do to make managing your finances in the future easier.

Practical steps may include:

  • Making sure your important documents, including any saved electronically, can be found easily by anyone who will need to see them. e.g. details of your bank accounts, tax, benefits and pension, as well as mortgage or rent documents, insurance policies and your will.
  • Some banks offer services such as longer appointments or Easy Read information. Speak to your bank to see what support they offer for people with dementia.
  • Consider setting up direct debits for regular payments such as gas and electricity bills. This means they will get paid automatically and may also be cheaper.
  • If you have memory problems, you may find it difficult to remember PIN numbers for debit or credit cards. Talk to the bank about alternatives, such as a ‘chip and signature’ card, or a contactless payment card.
  • You might also want to set up limits on your debit or credit cards. This means that you can only take out so much money at one time. This can be a good idea if you lose or misplace things often.
  • If you have a joint bank account – for example, with your partner – your bank might advise you to have separate accounts instead. This can make some things simpler. Your benefits and pension, for example, can be paid directly into your account. Having separate accounts may also make means-testing for benefits more straightforward.
  • If you’d like to have your own account but want someone else to help manage it, you can arrange a ‘third-party mandate’. This allows someone else to sign cheques and make payments for you. It is only valid while you have the ability (known as ‘mental capacity’) to manage your own account. If you want someone to manage your finances for you after this you will need to make a Lasting power of attorney
  • If you have assets such as property or savings, you might want to set up a trust. This allows someone else to manage these on your behalf. It will ensure things are managed the way you have chosen, now and in the future. Seek advice from a solicitor or financial adviser.


You and your carer, if you have one, may be entitled to a range of benefits. Some are ‘means-tested’, meaning that whether or not you can get them will depend on your financial situation. Others depend on your National Insurance record or your health and individual needs.

The following local and national services provide information and advice about benefits:

  • Money Helper is a free impartial service set up by Government to provide advice about money including information on benefits.
  • Wakefield Citizens Advice Bureau provides free impartial and independent advice about benefits, either face-to-face, telephone, email or online.
  • Age UK provides online information, and an advice line.
  • Turn2us is an organisation that helps people access money available to them through welfare benefits, grants and other help.
  • DIAL Wakefield advises and provides information on a number of aspects of welfare rights and benefits for disabled people. They can also advise on the benefits mandatory reconsideration and appeals dispute process.

If you are state pension age, physically or mentally disabled, and need someone to help look after you, you may be entitled to Attendance Allowance. You do not have to have someone caring for you to claim.

If you are under state pension age and have a disability or long term health condition which means you have difficulties with daily living or getting around, you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment.

 You may also be able to claim a discount on your council tax or apply for a grant or other benefits.

There are online benefits calculators to help you work out which benefits you can claim.

DWP provide explanatory videos about benefits in British Sign Language (BSL).

If you are in receipt of a care service from the Council and have any questions regarding benefit entitlement, please call Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503

More information can be found here.

Unpaid carers are also entitled to financial assistance. More information can be found here.

Putting someone else in charge of benefits If you choose to, you can ask someone you trust – known as an ‘appointee’ – to receive and manage the money you get in benefits. To do this, you will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The appointee will have to prove that they are managing your money with your best interests in mind.

Making decisions in the future

As dementia progresses, it will become harder for you to make decisions about things like your health, care, housing, finances and more There may come a time when you no longer have the ability (known as ‘mental capacity’) to make some decisions yourself. Putting things in place before this happens means you know that your wishes have been recorded and will be respected in the future. This can be reassuring for you, and for your family and friends. They will be more able to do the right thing for you if you have made it clear to them what you want to happen and what your preferences are. If you have dementia, the law protects your right to:

  • make your own decisions and be involved in any decisions that affect you
  • get support with making decisions
  • make decisions about your future, in case you are unable to make them later
  • appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you in future – for example about your care or your finances.

Visit here for more information.

One way of planning ahead is to write an advance statement. This explains your likes and dislikes, and what you want for the future. It might cover where you would like to be cared for or what day-to-day things you like to do. The statement is used when you cannot decide these things for yourself. An advance statement isn’t legally binding. This means that the law does not say it has to be followed. However, it must be considered when deciding what is best for you. There must also be good reasons for going against an advance statement.

You can make an advance statement verbally by telling those close to you, or professionals, what your wishes are. But it is better to write it down, if you can, or have someone else write it down for you. This means it is a permanent record of your wishes. You can then put it somewhere safe. This may involve saving it electronically, for example on a personal laptop or tablet computer. Make sure you tell people where you have put your advance statement and how to access it. It is a good idea to sign it too, though you don’t have to do this.

If you would like to make decisions about your future medical care, you can make an advance. These are legal documents that allow you to refuse, in advance, specific medical treatments or procedures that you would not want. This might include whether to be resuscitated if your heart stops, for example. You can’t use an advance decision or advance directive to refuse basic care such as food, drink and pain relief. If you’re thinking about making an advance decision, talk to your GP. They can talk you through the benefits of choosing or refusing particular medical treatments. Your GP will also record your advance decision on your care plan. You should speak to your close friends or family members about your advance decision, as this will help them to understand your wishes.


A will allows you to choose who inherits your money and your possessions. If you are living with dementia, you can still make or change your will, as long as you understand the decision you’re making and what it will mean.

Alzheimer’s Society can put you in touch with a solicitor through their Will to Remember scheme. For more information go to Request your Will to Remember pack | Alzheimer's Society (

You can also request from Age UK a will writing guide which will help with the process of writing or updating your will. You can request your free will writing guide here.


Having a diagnosis of dementia doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop driving straightaway. If you have a driving licence, the law says you must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in England, Wales and Scotland promptly about your diagnosis of dementia. You must also tell your car insurance company. With your permission, DVLA will ask your doctor about your condition. They might also ask you to take a driving assessment. DVLA will then make a decision about whether you can still drive. Many people with dementia choose to stop driving voluntarily. It’s best to stop if you feel less confident or get lost even on familiar routes.

Having to stop driving can be difficult to adjust to, but there can be some benefits to it. These include feeling less stressed and saving money on insurance and fuel. Taking advantage of alternative travel options, such as getting a free bus pass and using taxis or ‘dial a ride’ services, can help you adapt to the change.

Last updated: 8/31/2023