Legislation and rights

People with dementia, and their carers, have the same human rights as every citizen. But if you face any barriers or challenges which may prevent you from fulfilling these it is important to know your rights. There are also laws in place to support and protect people with dementia in Scotland. This page summarises the laws and your rights.

Making Connections

‘Making Connections’ is Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Dementia Strategy for 2021 to 2030. It is for people living with or supporting someone with dementia in Aberdeenshire. The strategy is about what needs to be done to make things better for people living with dementia. It will help people living with dementia to have better care and support.

Everyone’s Story

The National Dementia Strategy for Scotland: Everyone’s Story is a ten-year strategy for change. It sets out a vision for how life with dementia might be experienced and the changes needed to support this.

SIGN Dementia Guidelines

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) produced a booklet of recommendations about dementia assessment, diagnosis and support. It is for people who have been diagnosed with dementia, or may be going through assessment for dementia, or family members, friends, unpaid carers and care partners who support a person who has been diagnosed with dementia.

View the SIGN Dementia Guidelines.

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

The Adults with Incapacity Act provides a framework for safeguarding the welfare and finances of adults who may lack the capacity to make decisions. Under the Act, a person is considered unable to make a decision if due to mental disorder or inability to communicate because of physical disability, they are incapable of:

  • acting
  • making decisions
  • communicating decisions
  • understanding decisions
  • retaining the memory of decisions

More information about Adults with Incapacity and how you or your family may be affected is available on Aberdeenshire Council’s website.

As dementia progresses, you may find it more challenging to make or understand decisions. The Act set up ways to do this, including:

View a short guide to the Act.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Scotland Act 2003

The Mental Health Act sets out a framework for providing treatment to people with a mental disorder, including dementia, who need it but are not able to agree to the treatment.

View detailed information about the Mental Health Act.

Adult Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

It isn’t always the case that adults are able to protect and care for themselves. Some adults are particularly vulnerable to harm. All citizens, organisations and agencies have a responsibility for adult protection.

The Adult Protection Act gives greater protection to adults at risk of harm or neglect.

More information about adult protection and support is on Aberdeenshire Council’s website.

Your right to access independent advocacy

Advocacy North East provides a free, confidential and independent advocacy and representation service for people living with dementia in Aberdeenshire. They can help you to get information, understand your rights, express your needs and make your own decisions about your health, care and treatment. The service is commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council.

Charter of Rights for people with dementia and their carers in Scotland

The Charter of Rights (pdf) aims to make sure the rights of people living with dementia and their carers are recognised in all levels of government. It was developed by the cross-party group on Alzheimer’s.

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and Carers’ Charter

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 consolidates existing rights from other legislation, as well as protecting new rights for carers and young carers in law. This includes a Carers’ Charter, produced by the Scottish Government. Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has adopted the Charter for Aberdeenshire carers.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 aims to make sure carers know their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to. This will mean that carers are supported to continue to care, for as long as they choose, in better health and to have a life alongside caring.