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Businesses in Kent urged to unite for Dementia Awareness Week

Contributed by editor on May 02, 2017 - 06:25 AM

 

A lawyer dedicated to helping the vulnerable is urging Kent businesses to raise awareness of dementia among their staff so they have a better understanding of what it is like for customers and clients who live with the condition.

 



As head of law firm Furley Page’s specialised Vulnerable Client team, Partner Nicola August knows only too well how frightening and difficult everyday tasks can be for people with dementia, which is set to affect more and more people and their families.

“Activities such as shopping, banking and leisure pursuits all hold challenges for a person with dementia but with a little awareness, patience, good customer care and service, friendly staff can make these experiences less of a challenge,” says Nicola (pictured left) who, as a Dementia Friends Champion, is part of a network of volunteers helping to create ‘dementia-friendly communities’ nationwide.

Nicola is encouraging Kent businesses to support Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from May 14 to 20 and is organised by the Alzheimer’s Society.

“It’s important for businesses to look at how they can improve the experience for customers and clients living with dementia, as well as their families and carers, so that they can continue to be as independent as possible,” says Nicola.

“I’m keen to help employers raise awareness and empower their staff by encouraging them to attend free Dementia Friends sessions to learn about the effects of dementia. Businesses can also get involved by joining local dementia-friendly community forums.”

Nicola will be working in partnership with fellow Dementia Friends Champion Ruth Dolan, a Chartered Financial Planner with Kent-based financial planning experts Tarvos Wealth, to offer businesses free Dementia Friends information sessions.

“The sessions are informative and interactive and a good way to learn more about dementia. Staff can then share what they have learned and start making a real difference to customers and clients in their communities who have dementia,” says Nicola.

“Dementia is set to affect more and more people and it’s not just over-65s who are affected – there are a number of groups across the county with younger people in ‘young onset’ groups, many of whom are in their 40s and 50s,” she adds.

“Society tends to have a negative response to dementia but by encouraging our communities, including businesses, to be more accepting, helpful and understanding, individuals can feel supported and continue to enjoy fulfilling lives and live well with dementia.”

If you would like your staff to attend an information session and become Dementia Friends, contact Nicola August at nja@furleypage.co.uk  or call 01227 763939.

Nicola has years of experience in dealing with delicate legal matters surrounding elderly or vulnerable clients who may be living with dementia, or are becoming confused and struggling to look after their affairs. Her expertise includes helping clients prepare for later life, including Will drafting, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, care fee funding advice, including NHS Continuing Healthcare, and Court of Protection advice.

To find out more about the range of support services offered by Furley Page’s Vulnerable Client team, visit www.furleypage.co.uk
You can also follow the firm on Twitter @furleypage and on LinkedIn.

Visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20167/dementia_awareness_week  for information about Dementia Awareness Week.

The Kent Dementia Action Alliance also provides help and resources available to support people with dementia living in the county – visit www.dementiafriendlykent.org.uk

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