Everys Solicitors LLP
An aging population brings challenges; not just to society in general, but also to the way firms interact with the elderly and vulnerable. This is why we, at Everys, have made it our mission to make life easier for our clients: from delivering advice which is clear and in plain English, to travelling to a client’s home if they are unable to come to us. With dementia on the increase, we have sought ways in which we can help bring dementia awareness to the wider community: we have forged a strong relationship with Honiton Dementia Action Alliance, and one of our lawyers is the Regional Director of the Devon and Cornwall Regional Group of Solicitors for the Elderly. For over 200 years, we have been providing a first class offering with a high standard of client care to our clients throughout East Devon, Somerset and London. The services we have developed over that time reflect the varying needs of those communities from family law, disputes and claims, and private client services, through to rural/agriculture and business; and now we are furthering our commitment to our clients by making Everys a dementia friendly firm.
- 23 October 2019
- South West
- Law, 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?
Action1: Raising awareness of dementia amongst staff
Working with local Dementia Action Alliances to provide Dementia Friends sessions to all employees to ensure better understanding of dementia and services that we provide to people living with dementia and their families. It will then become part of the new joiner routine to ensure that all staff at all times become Dementia Friends as part of the induction.
Action 2: Collaborative work with local Alliances
Working with Honiton Dementia Action Alliance to provide a local conference to raise awareness of dementia in the community and the legal paperwork necessary for people living with dementia and to promote the local Alliance and related charities.
Action 3: Planning for dementia
Continuing to highlight to clients in meetings and the general public through local talks and information sessions the importance of an up to date Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney for Welfare and Finances. In addition explaining where necessary the more costly route of Deputyship applications if no power of attorney is in place. In addition, discussing end of life matters and stressing the importance of starting the tricky conversations whilst clients retain capacity in order that attorneys and family know their wishes.
Action 4: Review of offices
Reviewing each office to establish whether they are dementia friendly environments (such as signage etc) and if not establish what needs to be done to make them more suitable for clients with dementia.
Action 5: Publicising dementia to increase awareness
Our active Marketing department will ensure they diarise key dates, such as Dementia Action Week and that we assist local Dementia Action Alliances with publicity at that time and increasing awareness of dementia. In addition we will use appropriate communication and language, such as ‘living with dementia’ to reflect the Words Matter Call to Action and noting that some clients may need larger font sizes in publicity and information documentation. We co-created an article on the importance of planning ahead with the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance which featured in Devon Life in October 2019 and was shared widely.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
As with all legal providers it is a challenge to get clients to instruct trusted legal advisers before the dementia diagnosis has advanced. Involving a mental capacity expert when instructed by a dementia patient is a sensitive matter but it is an important safeguard, which we deal with in an empathetic manner. We try to challenge the difficulties of discussing end of life matters to ensure that clients are prepared before any diagnosis or concerns have arisen. Finally, with busy workloads, it is a challenge to get employees trained up to be Dementia Friends but we will endeavour to make it a priority.