- Mental capacity can fluctuate and may be situation dependent (e.g., a former diagnosis from previous records may not apply).
- Advanced age does not equate to lack of mental capacity.
- A diagnosis or clinical condition (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease or mental illness) does not automatically mean a person lacks mental capacity.
- Mental capacity is not determined by any particular test, such as Mini Mental Status Examination.
- Competent older adults have the right to make choices that others may consider unwise or unsafe. Just because an older adult makes such a decision does not mean that they lack capacity.
- There are various ways to determine if someone lacks mental capacity. In some jurisdictions, this determination is made in consultation with physicians or a capacity assessor, but this does not always apply.
- Depression and delirium can sometimes be confused with lack of mental capacity.
Preventing and Addressing Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults: Person-Centred, Collaborative, System-Wide Approaches
Point of Care Resources