Financial & Legal News

Cognitive Effects and Capacity Issues caused by Coronavirus

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It may be some time before the lasting effects of coronavirus can be examined, but already it would seem there are long term effects on the capacity and cognitive effects of patients after long term hospital stays or lengthy home recovery periods.

Court of Protection

In these cases for some patients the Court of Protection will have to make decisions (or appoint family and friends to do so) regarding people’s property, financial affairs, health and wellbeing when sadly they are unable to do so.

Most clients coming to Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers know what a Will entails and for some a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is needed, but a lot of clients do not know what the Court of Protection is, how it will impact them or how to make a deputyship application.

Lasting effects of Coronavirus

Many of us live for the day and try not to worry about what is around the corner not considering what would happen if we were to suddenly become incapacitated and rendered unable to make even the simplest decision for ourselves.  However, in 2020 the pandemic has brought us all face to face with our own mortality as it seems Covid-19 can hit anyone of us at any time, varying in severity and sadly, in some cases, leaving a long-lasting impression,” said Medical Negligence Solicitor Jacqueline White.

Those that have battled the virus have reported long lasting symptoms such as a loss of taste, increased fatigue and breathing difficulties. Some complaint of “brain fog” where cognitively they are not the same as they used to be.  In more extreme cases, patients treated with ventilation and those who required lengthy periods of induced sedation have suffered life changing damage to the brain.

It is now clear that many Covid-19 patients exhibit neurological symptoms, from loss of smell, to delirium, to an increased risk of stroke. There are also longer-lasting consequences for the brain, including Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

These effects may be caused by a direct viral infection of brain tissue, but growing evidence suggests additional indirect actions triggered via the virus’s infection of epithelial cells and the cardiovascular system, or through the immune system and inflammation, which contribute to lasting neurological changes after Covid-19,” added Jacqueline.

Court of Protection applications can be avoided

If planning ahead has not been done and LPA’s sorted then, in these cases, the option to manage affairs will rest with the Court of Protection and as specialists in this area of law Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers can help and advise on the process.

It is not just those people who have had Covid-19 who have suffered, lock down has had an impact on us all and loneliness, isolation and a lack of mental stimulation has led to a deterioration in mental health for many people. Those with pre-existing cognitive disorders may have seen a down turn in their condition.

“In some cases this has led to once perfectly mentally capable people no longer being able to manage their own affairs and that is where we can help out with professional legal advice,” said Jacqueline.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition preventing them from making their own financial, health and wellbeing decisions speak to a member of our team on 0161 785 3500. We also can support you through the difficult time by advising on your options including a Deputyship Application to the Court of Protection.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Jacqueline White


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