What is meant by ‘fluctuating capacity’? 

The 2005 mental capacity act was put in place to protect everyone aged 16 and over to support them in their right to make their own decisions. 
Many people make the generalisation that lacking capacity stems from conditions such as dementia or other late onset illnesses; however fluctuating mental capacity is also a topic that needs more consideration. 
Two examples of when one may have fluctuating capacity – perhaps when someone is suffering with depression or addiction – they may be assessed not to have capacity at one time, however they could well have capacity later on. This area of Capacity Assessing has to be accounted for by the assessor and independent advocates. 
Mental health and well-being is potentially the most relevant case of fluctuating capacity overall. There are so many different forms of mental health and well-being issues on such a large spectrum, with so many situations such as bi-polar disorder sufferers for example, possibly being assessed to have a lack of capacity due to such extreme fluctuations, however if presented and treated properly with the medication or help deemed necessary, and the option to be reassessed, the outcome may well be completely different, and that is why assessors have to be well trained, competent and extremely capable. 
The acceptance of fluctuating capacity is getting better within the professional world. With ever increasing awareness of mental health and well-being due to campaigns now spanning from print to digital media, and various organisations such as MIND and other charities offering support as well as this information. 
The combination of campaigns, education/training and a willingness to learn is enabling people with fluctuating capacity to be understood better and engaged by professionals in their best interest. 
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings