Judge considers whether wealthy widow with dementia should get chance to go home

A judge has been asked to decide whether a wealthy widow who has dementia should be given the chance to leave a care facility and be looked after at home.

The woman, who is in her 90s and has more than £2 million in savings, is at the centre of a dispute in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions.

Her nephew, and nearest relative, says she will not be safe at home and should stay in the care facility.

But lawyers appointed by a judge to represent the woman’s interests disagree and say more analysis is needed before the possibility of her going home is ruled out.

They say she has expressed a wish to go home and has enough money to pay for the expensive care package which would be needed.

Mr Justice Hayden, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, analysed rival arguments at a Court of Protection hearing in London on Monday.

He is expected to publish a ruling on the case in the near future.

The judge said the woman could not be identified in media reports of the litigation.

He heard that the woman came from Greece and had run a property business with her husband, a former soldier whose family was from Ireland, before retiring.

They had met in Athens at the end of the Second World War and had settled in a six-bedroom home on the outskirts of London.

The woman is represented by staff from the Office of the Official Solicitor, who help vulnerable people at the centre of litigation.

Barrister Oliver Lewis, who leads the woman’s legal team, said a lower-ranking judge had ruled out the possibility of the woman returning home.

He said that decision had been taken too soon, without all evidence being considered, and should be overturned.

Mr Justice Hayden also heard from lawyers representing social services bosses at Medway Council – which is based in Chatham, Kent – who have responsibility for the woman’s welfare.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Kate Collins / PA Wire.