Mental Capacity Act

Mental Capacity Act
The Mental Capacity Act states that every person should be presumed to have capacity, and that, adults should be allowed to make decisions for themselves as much as possible, only when all possible attempts to help the person make a decision have failed can a decision be made for them in their best interest.  
Making a decision in a person’s best interest means making the decision that you believe the person would make for themselves if they were able.   So taking into consideration their personality, their preferences, their interests and any other relevant information, the decision should not be based on your own preferences. Whether a person has capacity to make a decision is relevant to the situation and circumstances.   So a person may be able to choose what they want to eat but be unable to decide where they want to live. Someone may lose capacity on a temporary basis because of physical or mental illness, loss of consciousness, an accident, or due to drug or alcohol use.
NHS Choices state that when determining if someone has capacity, you need to consider if the person has; an impairment or disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain, and an inability to make decisions.
A person is unable to make a decision if they are unable to understand the information relevant to the decision, or retain the information or use it as part of the decision making process or are unable to communicate their decision. (
I implement this act by encouraging people I support to make choices and decisions for themselves.
Sometimes presenting choices in a format that is understood by the individual requires some creativity, one of the tools I use in my daily work to promote understanding and facilitate decision making is picture exchange; using a symbolized or real life photo of the choices which the individual then exchanges with their support worker for the real object or experience.   Another tool I...