You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

Farmers urged to safeguard business to plan ahead for dementia


Instances of dementia in the countryside have sparked concerns farmers are increasingly reluctant to ask for help and are often ill-prepared for the future. 

Twitter Facebook
The Alzheimer's Society said the number of dementia cases is set to increase 156 per cent.
The Alzheimer's Society said the number of dementia cases is set to increase 156 per cent.
Share This

Farmers urged to safeguard business to plan ahead for dementia

Research from Plymouth University with support from Seale Hayne Educational Trust and the Farming Community Network, which interviewed 16 farmers across Devon to address dementia in farming and rural communities, found farmers often had concerns about the future of their farm but were hesitant to take steps to address them.


Experts raised concerns the ’growing health problem’ is expected to fall on rural areas as farmers increasingly desire to continue work long after the retirement age.


Dr Claire Kelly, who undertook the research, said farming and the farm itself were more than ‘merely business interests’ but were an important part of lifestyle and identity – something those with dementia often struggle to upkeep.


She said: “There is justifiable fear that a diagnosis of dementia can lead to the loss of the farm, the home and everything that is familiar.


Legal steps and support

“Taking over financial responsibility for the farm can take many months to sort out if someone becomes incapacitated but in the meantime, the farm needs to continue to function as a business, so fodder needs to be bought, animals bought and sold, etc. which can be very difficult if the farm business is solely in the name of the person living with dementia.”


Dr Kelly urged farmers to consider wider family plans, including steps to hand on the business and keep legal documents up-to-date, and outline proposals for when the farm could no longer be managed.


The research was backed by John-Paul Dennis, solicitor at Merseyside-based law-firm Kirwans, who said he regularly looks for farmers hoping to safeguard their business.


He praised the research for highlighting the ’very real problems that are happening right now’ and encouraged farmers to prepare for ill-health or death.


He said: “Plans to hand over financial responsibility for the farm can indeed take months to put in place if the owner becomes unable to act for themselves, and in that time businesses can easily go under.


"That is why it is so important to make arrangements long before they appear to be needed, so that should the worst happen, the farm is able to continue operating as a business.”


Legal steps

Mr Dennis set out the five most important legalities farmers should prepare in order to safeguard their farms:

  • Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
  • Review of the farmland
  • Wills and succession planning
  • Agreements on management and ownership
  • Decisions on how to handover property to the next generation
Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More News

Rough grazing research helping farmers maximise suckler herd efficiency

A RECENT farm trial has made an attempt to better understand the grazing habits of cattle farmed on rough or disadvantaged land.

Stark warning over continued high levels of antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and food

Prudent use of antibiotics in human and veterinary science should remain a priority to help tackle the remaining high levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans, animals and food.

STORM DORIS: The latest on the extreme ‘weather bomb’

The Met Office has issued an amber ‘be aware’ national severe weather warning for Storm Doris which has lashed the UK.

Farmers walk the fastest, says new study

Farmers have topped the list of ‘fastest walkers’ when compared to any other occupation.

Public rights of way a ‘burden’ to farmers

The ability to record, create, divert or close a public right of way should be made ‘far easier’ and ‘less expensive’ for farmers, NFU Cymru said.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds