Michelmores LLP

Updated:
13 November 2015
Location:
South West
Sectors:
Legal
Local Alliances:
Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA)

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Action 1: Raising awareness of dementia

 By arranging Dementia Friends education sessions and encouraging members of staff to attend these with a view to raising, maintaining and improving awareness of the issues faced by individuals living with dementia and the stigma which is often attached to it. One of our team has already completed the Dementia Champion training which will facilitate the arrangement of Dementia Friends sessions within the organisation, as well as in the wider community. 

Action 2:  Planning for dementia

 By the promotion of measures that can be taken by individuals to plan for and protect them in case of a future diagnosis of dementia leading to mental incapacity.  We recognise and advise our clients, of all ages, of the importance of making Lasting Powers of Attorney appointing attorneys who can make Financial Decisions and Health and Care Decisions in the event that our is incapable of making a decision in the future.  By advising clients that, without a valid Lasting Power of Attorney, recourse to the Court of Protection will be necessary if decisions need to be made on their behalf and that this is onerous and expensive.

 We also encourage our clients to consider end of life planning and to ensure that they have in place a comprehensive will reflecting their wishes.

Action 3:  Appropriate communication and surroundings

 By understanding the importance of using appropriate language when communicating with and talking about individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia, for example, individuals 'live with' rather than 'suffer with' dementia.  There are many individuals diagnosed with dementia who live a fulfilling life and would not consider that they are suffering!  By having regard to the Words Matter Call to Action and familiarising staff members with the initiative.

 By tailoring our communications with clients with a dementia diagnosis to use language and terminology appropriate to their circumstances and adapting communications, where required, for example, using larger font size.

 By the provision of comfortable surroundings for clients living with dementia who visit our offices and endeavouring to make our meeting areas as dementia-friendly as possible.

 

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Our aim is to build a relationship of trust with our clients, many of whom find it difficult to envisage a situation where they or a family member might face a dementia diagnosis or other illness resulting in them lacking mental capacity.

 Often clients will not wish to contemplate this scenario but we encourage our clients to plan for this eventuality, which is becoming more likely as the statistics demonstrate that the population is ageing.

 We hope that by comprehensive advice, our clients will understand the potential consequences of not planning and that they will be prudent in putting into place appropriate arrangements.

Member contacts

Sarah Hargreaves - Associate and Regional Co-Ordinator for the Devon and Cornwall Group of Solicitors for the Elderly

Contact - sarah.hargreaves@michelmores.com

Member website

www.michelmores.com

2. Actions

  • Action 1: Planning for dementia

    By the promotion of measures that can be taken by individuals to plan for and protect them in case of a future diagnosis of dementia leading to mental incapacity.  We recognise and advise our clients, of all ages, of the importance of making Lasting Powers of Attorney appointing attorneys who can make Financial Decisions and Health and Care Decisions in the event that our is incapable of making a decision in the future.  By advising clients that, without a valid Lasting Power of Attorney, recourse to the Court of Protection will be necessary if decisions need to be made on their behalf and that this is onerous and expensive.

     We also encourage our clients to consider end of life planning and to ensure that they have in place a comprehensive will reflecting their wishes.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Action 2: Appropriate communication and surroundings

    By understanding the importance of using appropriate language when communicating with and talking about individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia, for example, individuals 'live with' rather than 'suffer with' dementia.  There are many individuals diagnosed with dementia who live a fulfilling life and would not consider that they are suffering!  By having regard to the Words Matter Call to Action and familiarising staff members with the initiative.

     By tailoring our communications with clients with a dementia diagnosis to use language and terminology appropriate to their circumstances and adapting communications, where required, for example, using larger font size.

     By the provision of comfortable surroundings for clients living with dementia who visit our offices and endeavouring to make our meeting areas as dementia-friendly as possible.

     

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Action 3: Raising Awareness of Dementia

    Action 3: Raising awareness of dementia

     By arranging Dementia Friends education sessions and encouraging members of staff to attend these with a view to raising, maintaining and improving awareness of the issues faced by individuals living with dementia and the stigma which is often attached to it. One of our team has already completed the Dementia Champion training which will facilitate the arrangement of Dementia Friends sessions within the organisation, as well as in the wider community. 

    Status:
    Being implemented