All Staff Offered Dementia Friends Training Prior To Dementia Awareness Week
To mark Dementia Awareness Week (DAW) law firm Irwin Mitchell is showing it’s commitment to becoming one of the UK’s most dementia friendly law firms by encouraging and offering all employees the chance to become Dementia Friends.
Next week the firm will hold a series of 60 minute sessions in 12 of their offices across the UK where employees will become Dementia Friends.
Group Chief Executive Andrew Tucker is backing the project, which is being led by Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth (IMPW), and will be introducing the first session in Sheffield on May 8th, in the hope of offering better support and understanding to clients who may be affected by the condition.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Solicitor Ben Saunders from the firm’s Newbury office and Senior Associate, Catherine Diamond, from the Chichester office, both specialise in matters affecting elderly and vulnerable clients and are both fully trained Dementia Friends Champions, who run sessions for colleagues, members of the public and local businesses.
Between them Ben and Catherine have already trained over 170 Dementia Friends who have been encouraged to go spread the word to family and friends about what they have learnt about the challenges of dementia and how to overcome them.
Ben and Catherine will be hosting the sessions at Irwin Mitchell’s offices in Sheffield, Gatwick, Chichester, Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton which will be broadcast to other offices in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, London, Cambridge and Glasgow via video link, prior to Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May).
Expert OpinionOne crucial method of spreading dementia awareness is for people to attend Dementia Friends information sessions. These are informal sessions run by volunteers which explain simply the ways in which dementia can change people’s lives.
The key focus of the sessions, however, is that there is always more to the person than the dementia and that, with an early diagnosis and appropriate support from family, friends and professionals, it is possible for people to live well with dementia for many years. Ben Saunders - Solicitor
Expert OpinionSadly, due to the nature of our work, we help people with dementia who have experienced neglect while in care or with families who are concerned about the condition and are preparing for the future in terms of Wills, and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Our experience shows us the impact that dementia has on those who live with the condition and their loved ones. We want to help improve life for these people by helping to create as many new Dementia Friends as possible.
Not only so our employees have a better understanding of the clients they are working with, but so they can spread the word to their own families and friends and help the wider communities we operate in become more inclusive by giving them a greater understanding of dementia and ways to help people living with the condition. Catherine Diamond - Senior Associate Solicitor
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss, mood changes and problems with communicating and reasoning. Symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but there are more than 100 other types.
There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK but that figure is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051.
Find out more about our work involving dementia and how we can help you plan for later life.