Disability in old age
All of us grow old. All people go through stages from birth to death. The saddest stage is an old age. In there are diseases of which did not think in youth. There are irreversible changes in brain neurons, etc. Diseases as an Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, Dementia, Diabetes will do suddenly appear.
“The UK population has been ageing over the past few decades and the proportion of people aged 65 years and over has been steadily increasing” (IBISWorld, 2018).
It is a significant social problem as elderly, disable asks for the help in NHS with problems with the eyes, kidneys, heart and the nerves.
Several acts can be applied at the same time.
The law in Scotland, as a rule assumes that adults are capable to make personal decisions and to manage own affairs.
It is important to remember that having the diagnosis, for example, dementia, does not mean that the person is not able to make decisions for himself. It is also important that only because someone acts unreasonably or have a mental disorder, does not mean lack of potential at this person at all.
For implementation of these laws the concept “incapacity” is entered. The person (individual) is considered incapacitated if he cannot independently accept, understand, discuss decisions or to work on the made decision in for any specific question.
The law begins to work in cases of a physical and mental disability.
1. Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
2. Mental Capacity Act 2005
Functionalist theory and disability
“Influential functionalists” emphasise the clinical role to cure and support “normal” functioning of people and society. In this model, it is considered that the patient surely wants to recover. In this theory “the sick” wishing to get well. It can make people with incurable diseases, including disabled people, seem to be deviant.
The variant of functionalism, the theory of normalisation, is the cornerstone of some programs which claim that their programs allowed disabled people to live culturally full-fledged life.
The functionalism confuses impairment and disability with a disease. Being not able to recognise that the disabled people it is not necessarily “something wrong with them”, it simply reproduces discriminatory norms and values. It is evident that the situation with disabled people cannot be understood or transformed by any policy based on narrow theories of usual normality or uniformity.
The critical theory considers problems of disabled people as the product of unequal society.
The critical theory perceives a concept of disability as social oppression and discrimination, the limitation life of people. While disability is assumed to be a single question of the personal tragedy or heroic triumph over difficulty, disabled people are expelled from society. Usual education, employment, public transport and other things (most of which people can consider self-evident) remain generally closed for disabled people, or at least they represent obstacles in which each person has to be engaged individually.
The “Act of Incapacity” provides a framework for safeguarding the welfare and managing the finances of adults who lack capacity due to mental, physical disorder or inability to communicate.
The law provides the next ways for protection of interests of the person:
Power of attorney (Part 2 of the Act). It means the appointment of the person to whom the management of finance and the general physical condition of the disabled person can be entrusted.
Access to Funds scheme (Part 3 of the Act). This is a way of accessing the
adult’s bank or building society account/s in order to meet his/her living costs.
At the same time, the trustee cannot dispose of finance, e.g. management of investments.
Guardianship order (Part 6 of the Act). Unlike Power of attorney person
guardian is appointed officially, through sheriff court by individuals, or by the local authority where no one else is applying and the adult has been assessed as needing a guardian.
Intervention order (Part 6 of the Act). Usually, it suitable when the single action on behalf of the adult is required. For example, it can be a financial or property transaction or a legal action such as signing a tenancy agreement.
Parsons, T., 1951. The social system. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Sutherland, A., 1981. Disabled we stand. London: Souvenir Press.
Watson, N., 1995. Health promotion and physically disabled people: implications of the national health policy. Critical Public Health, 6(2), pp.38–43.
Oliver, M., 1998. Theories of disability in health practice and research. online. NCBI. Available at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1114301/#B22. Accessed 24 November.