What is Mental Capacity?
The term having ‘mental capacity’ means being able to make your own decision at the time that the decision needs to be made. A person can lack mental capacity due to several reasons including a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or substance abuse. You are said to lack capacity if you are unable to:
- understand information given to you about a decision you need to make, including the consequences of your decision;
- remember the information given to you for long enough to be able to make the required decision;
- weigh up all your options before making your decision; and/or
- communicate your decision in any way including speech, signs and gestures.