Cohen Cramer Solicitors
We are providers of a wide range of traditional legal services for individuals and businesses. We can provide sensitive, professional support in areas such as inheritance and estate planning, disputes, employment, crime and personal injury. We pride ourselves on offering a personalised service, treating each of our clients as an individual and tailoring our assistance to take into account their particular needs. Our Inheritance and Probate team can offer friendly, jargon free advice in relation to matters such as wills, powers of attorney, estate planning.
- 17 March 2015
- Yorkshire and Humber
- Local Alliances:
- Leeds Dementia Action Alliance
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?
Cohen Cramer is committed to providing an understanding, approachable and sensitive service to clients with dementia and their families. We want people to feel that we understand the issues and difficulties they may be facing. We recognise that a diagnosis does not automatically mean that the individual cannot be involved in decisions which may affect their lives and we encourage people to take control of the decision making process for as long as they are able. We can offer advice and assistance in relation to setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney to enable another person to assist with finances or health and welfare; wills; trusts and, if the person is no longer able to make their own financial decisions, we can assist with applications to the Court of Protection for deputyship orders. We can visit clients in their own homes if that is preferable and are happy to guide clients and their carers through the matters they should consider when first faced with a diagnosis of dementia.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Awareness – traditionally legal services have not been particularly accessible for people who may need a bit more time, explanation and support in making decisions and it has been easier to simply communicate with a carer or family member. Legal service providers need to be aware of not taking away that independence and that with the right assistance a person with dementia may be able to make their own decisions.
Time – we regularly come across well-meaning families and carers who assist their loved ones on an informal basis until the point at which they can no longer make decisions for themselves. At that point it may be too late to take action without involving the court of protection.
Communication – whilst better than it was a few years ago the legal environment can still be difficult to understand if you are not part of that environment. Even for someone without dementia the terminology used in forms and letters can be confusing and lawyers can have a tendency to assume that clients understand them.
Improve Understanding of Dementia for key staff
The inheritance team will undertake Dementia awareness training and become dementia friends. They will then pass their knowledge to other staff to increase awareness of issues related to dementia in other teams.
Promote importance of early planning
We will actively promote the importance of putting in place steps to assist a person with dementia in relation to their personal affairs. We will make contact with community groups to offer legal advice and support for people with dementia and their carers.
We will ensure that all clients are asked about their preferred method of communication and will seek to ensure that wherever possible legal jargon is avoided.