The best interests of an 84-year old woman (RP) with Alzheimer’s disease was considered in the case of DA v EP & Ors (COP – Deprivation of Liberty/Welfare)  EWCOP 74.
This case looked at RP’s best interests in terms of her residence, care and support, and contact with her children.
By way of background, RP suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives in the flat above her daughter, EP. RP has regular contact with her son also, JP. RP has received private care packages since 2017 however this initially broke down on 22 September 2019 following an allegation which was made by EP. EP claimed that a carer had bitten RP. A later care package also broke down on 28 November 2019 due to an allegation that EP had prevented the carers from carrying out their role for RP.
The Court of Protection were presented with the following issues to consider:
- What was in RP’s best interests in terms of her residence in the short term, up to nine months
- What was in RP’s best interests with regard to her residence in the medium term, beyond nine months
- What was in RP’s best interests regarding the care and support she should receive
- What was in RP’s best interests with regard to her contact with EP and JP
- How should any deprivation of liberty ordered by the Court be supervised going forward
EP suggested that RP would like to return to Scotland where her sister resided, and in the long-term, to live in a bungalow. This was opposed by JP and the Local Authority who agreed that Extra Care Housing should be arranged with a live-in carer. It was also suggested that the current restrictions regarding EP’s contact with RP should continue. It was agreed that RP should remain in the flat on a short-term basis and should continue to receive care from the current care agency.
It was held by the Court of Protection that RP should remain in the flat with the current care providers and for her to be transferred later to Extra Care Housing. The restrictions upon EP were to undoubtedly continue to ensure that future care packages did not break down. It was, however, agreed, that EP would have unsupervised contact with RP and that her daughter was to be able to provide emergency care if required. A contact plan was to be organised to set out the same.