Dementia friends - helping you plan for the future

At Stephensons we want all clients to feel that they are receiving the best possible support, and there are a number of things we can do to help people with dementia, when they seek legal advice. By 2025, over one million people will have dementia, our team has taken training and continues to learn and make adjustments to how we deliver legal services to help those with the condition.

Stephensons’ probate team are dementia friends and we aim to become dementia champions. This means we have looked at how we deliver our services in the three main areas: people, processes and physical environment so we can give the best possible service.

Call us on 0333 344 4773 to speak with a member of our team.

 

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Dementia friendly solicitors

Our staff have undertaken learning so that they understand the different types of dementia and the main challenges people face. We understand that a person with dementia might:

  • Have problems with day-to-day memory
  • Have difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks
  • Have language problems, including difficulty following a conversation or finding the right word
  • Have problems with perception of where objects are, for example judging distances and seeing objects in three dimensions
  • Lose track of the day or date, or become confused about where they are
  • Show changes in their mood, for example becoming frustrated or irritable, withdrawn, anxious, easily upset or unusually sad
  • See things that are not really there (visual hallucinations) or believe things that are not true (delusions)
  • Show changes in behaviour such as repetitive questioning, pacing, restlessness or agitation

Our team has had and continues to have ongoing training to develop our understanding. We also attend a number of organisations that offer support to those with dementia and their families including Singing with Dementia.

The way we work

The way we communicate is one of the most important elements, we want people to be able to tell us easily that they have dementia so that we can give due consideration to this when communicating. This means that the person answering your call has the necessary awareness. If there is something you feel would help you such as a larger font on our documents or anything else we can do when communicating please do tell us.

Visiting us

Certain environments can cause stress, we understand this so we have undertaken an audit of our main offices in Wigan and Middlebrook to try and make them as dementia friendly as possible. We are happy to offer appointments at the most convenient time of the day, we understand that certain times of the day may be more difficult than others. When a person with dementia comes to visit us we make sure they are shown to the meeting room in person and we wait while the car is parked to help them to the meeting room. Where possible we will avoid rooms with large glass windows and our rooms have contrasting colours of flooring to walls. Our firm is committed to supporting those with dementia and we have a board member, Andrew Welch, who oversees and supports Stephensons’ commitment.

We will continue to look at what else we can do to make our offices as suitable as possible.

It is important for a person with dementia to appoint an attorney in a lasting power of attorney (LPA) before loss of mental capacity so that important decisions can still be made about their care and affairs once capacity is lost. A health and welfare LPA will only come into effect once the person has lost the mental capacity to make that particular decision.

Please call us on 0333 344 4773 to see how we can help.

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