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Law firm supports Dementia Awareness Week
- AuthorCaroline Johnstone
This week will see The Alzheimer’s Society annual Dementia Awareness Week, and with 800,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK and that number growing each year, it’s never been more important to prepare for what the future could bring.
“This year the Alzheimer’s Society is keen to raise awareness of the little known facts and myths around dementia,” begins Caroline Johnstone, Private Client Associate Solicitor. “One of the most common misconceptions of dementia is that it impacts the elderly, and while most sufferers are over 65, those younger than this are not immune. Another is that it is just your memory that changes. We all know what it’s like to be forgetful, but dementia causes a more noticeable type of forgetfulness, accompanied by mood changes and confusion. It’s normally short-term memory that is lost initially, and loved ones may also notice difficulties with communication skills and reasoning.”
In 2014, a number of staff members from the Private Client team at Warner Goodman LLP became Dementia Friends in support of those living with dementia and their families in Fareham. “Unfortunately we regularly see the consequences that arise from not having planned for the future when the onset of dementia begins,” explains Caroline. “It’s understandable as no-one wants to think that one day this will happen to them, but by having measures in place you can know that should the worst happen, your wishes will be followed and those you love provided for.
“Having a Lasting Power of Attorney set up means that should you be diagnosed with dementia, if it comes to the stage that you are no longer capable of making decisions yourself, a nominated person that you have chosen who you trust, can make those decisions for you. Without an LPA, those decisions could be made by the Court of Protection.”
This years Dementia Awareness Week is all about the possibilities for those suffering from dementia to have new experiences and do new things. “Life doesn’t end when dementia begins; it’s all about adjusting to a new life and The Alzheimer’s Society work hard alongside the family and friends to help keep independence for as long as possible,” continues Caroline. “Many people do continue to lead their lives as normal for a time, but when things become harder the Alzheimer’s Society’s support and knowledge is invaluable. There are many ways that people can be involved in Dementia Awareness Week from localised events to fundraising.”
Caroline concludes, “A Lasting Power of Attorney isn’t the only area that we can advise on if you’re concerned about your future. We can also advise on financial affairs, writing a Will, becoming a deputy for a person with dementia, making arrangements for care and much more. We appreciate that this will be a daunting step for anyone to take, but we always advise that it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it’s something as important as your future.”
To find out more about how Warner Goodman LLP can help plan for your future, visit the Private Client section of our website.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.