Organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Action Week (DAW) is an annual event aimed at bringing communities and organisations together to take action to improve the lives of people living with dementia. This year DAW is taking place from Monday 17 May to Sunday 23 May.

What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.

Committed to Dementia Awareness

TSP is committed to training its staff to ensure they have the understanding to support our clients with dementia. We regularly offer the opportunity for staff to complete the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends training. The Dementia Friends programme is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative designed to change people’s perceptions of dementia. Lawyers in our Wills & Estates team have also completed the Virtual Dementia Tour.

In October TSP was awarded the ‘Working Towards Dementia Friendly Status’ from Tendring Dementia Action Alliance in recognition of our continued work in supporting and raising awareness of dementia. We believe that research is key to improving dementia care and TSP is committed to delivering better outcomes for individuals with dementia and their carers through the work we do.

As well as the training mentioned above, TSP are also supporters of the Colchester and Tendring Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) Groups. Thompson Smith and Puxon is a member of both local groups and Solicitor Sarah White is currently the Secretary of the Tendring group.

Our offices in Clacton and Colchester are wheelchair accessible and we have literature on the Alzheimer’s Family Navigating service available. We recognise that not everyone living with Dementia will be able to get to our offices, especially during the Coronavirus Pandemic, and offer home visits to accommodate each individual client’s needs.  

Solicitors for the Elderly

Wills & Estates Team Leader Fiona Ashworth and solicitors Aileen Hirst, Sarah White and Georgia Bolton are full accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE); an independent national organisation of legal professionals who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.

How can you help?

There are many ways that you can help increase awareness and support those with dementia in the community, including becoming a Dementia Friend. Here are a few other initiatives that have been introduced to support individuals with dementia and their carers:

  • Alzheimer’s Society ‘This is Me’. The Alzheimer’s Society have produced a simple leaflet for anyone receiving professional care who is living with dementia or experiencing delirium or other communication difficulties. ‘This is me’ can be used to record details about a person who can’t easily share information about themselves. The information helps health and social care professionals better understand who the person really is, which can help them deliver care that is tailored to the person’s needs. The leaflet can be downloaded here.
  • ‘The Herbert Protocol’ is an initiative which has been adopted by Essex Police. It is a form that carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person, or the person themselves can fill in. It contains a list of information to help the police if the person goes missing, including; medication required, mobile numbers and a recent photograph. More information about the protocol can be found here.