Making decisions and choices about how we live our life is a fundamental human right. However, a brain injury and some neurological conditions may affect our ability to make decisions for ourselves. In these situations, decisions and choices may be made for us in our best interest, but only if a set process has been followed as guided by the Mental Capacity Act.
Making an ‘unwise decision’ is not the same as lacking capacity to make a decision.
We use our skills and experience as Occupational Therapists to undertake and assist with the decision-making process and can assess individuals capacity to choose to undertake activities relating to everyday decisions. This could include decisions an individual makes about activities they wish to undertake, relationships they may have or how they spend their time.
We use our ‘Mental Capacity Assessment for Everyday Decisions’ process to help us assess capacity relating to a specific question. Our capacity assessments are usually undertaken for individuals who we know well. Assessments can be undertaken with unfamiliar individuals; however, the assessment will need to be done over a period of time to ensure we have captured all the information required to make a reasoned decision.