Last week, legal advisers and paralegals in our Private Client team became Dementia Friends. We received training from the Lewes and District Dementia Action Alliance to learn about how we can better assist our clients who are living with dementia and their carers.
Our commitment to Dementia
We agreed to take action to change the way that dementia is perceived and to be positive ambassadors for and supporters of those living with the disease.
We learnt about the five key messages of the Dementia Friends:
- Dementia is not a natural part of aging.
- Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
- Dementia is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating, and doing everyday tasks
- It’s possible to live well with dementia
- There’s more to a person than the dementia.
We were given tips for communicating effectively with our clients, including ensuring that we speak to them at their eye level and making sure that we speak clearly and slowly so that our clients can hear and have time to take in the information they have being given.
We finished by walking through the client facing areas of our office to learn how small changes can make a big impact and make clients feel more comfortable.
Immediate actions we have taken to support our clients
We were able to make immediate changes such as ensuring that the meeting room television screen is turned on to a screensaver or picture rather than a blank space on the wall. A black screen can look like a hole in the wall, and the distorted reflection of people moving can be unnerving as it looks like something is in the hole.
Also, making sure that empty coat racks are kept away from walkways as they may not be as visible to someone with impaired vision.
When visiting our offices, you can be confident that our staff will be kind, courteous and respectful of your needs and will make adjustments to ensure that you have a positive experience when using our legal services. We will continue to raise awareness about dementia in the community and we look forward to bringing you updates!
Left to right: Kendall Sherwen, Fiona Dodd, Spencer Cole, Lauren Puttock-Brown, Tracy Rowden, Claire Busuttil, Sophie Murray, Dee Tinney, Kirsty Taylor, Lucy Hollingsworth, Ursula Tanner.