Howes Percival is working towards becoming a dementia-friendly business. So far, over 60 staff across the law firm’s six offices have received training and have become Dementia Friends.
Amy Wallhead, one of the firm’s private client law specialists, is organising the training. Amy is a Dementia Friends Champion who regularly volunteers her time to hold Dementia Friends sessions for individuals, businesses and organisations.
In the UK 850,000 people live with dementia, this figure is set to rise to over a million by 2021. Launched in 2013 by the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Friends aim to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. Dementia Friends training helps to explain the simple ways in which dementia can affect people’s lives and, how with the appropriate support, people can live well with the condition.
Amy Wallhead commented:
“In the course of my work, I’ve seen first-hand the effect dementia can have on people who live with the condition and their family. I became a Dementia Champion because I wanted to be able to provide a better service to clients effected by dementia. Simple changes such as rephrasing a question or giving a client more time to answer a question can make a real difference, so can physical changes to a business environment such as good lighting and clear signage to help people find their way around.
“Most people associate dementia with forgetfulness, but there are many other symptoms. These sessions explain the full impact of the condition and allow us as a business to think about how we can become more accessible and supportive and ultimately provide a better service for clients. Dementia doesn’t just affect the elderly, younger people can get the condition too. But, just because someone has dementia doesn’t mean they can’t continue to function.
“A person with dementia still needs to be able to visit a solicitor and access their services, for example; to make a will or for help with Family Law issues or the legal aspects of selling a home, and their diagnosis should not prevent this. The same is true of other businesses. With understanding and a more supportive environment, people can continue to live well with dementia.”
For more information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit their website.
To learn more about the culture at Howes Percival, go to our About page.