Last Updated on 19.7.16 by Shelley Bower
Gorvins Solicitors has met the call of Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society to be a friend to dementia sufferers.
As a national celebrity-backed TV campaign launched to find a million ‘Dementia Friends’ by 2015, Associate Solicitor Tasoula Crosby, Consultant Moira Percival and a team from the firm’s Wills, Trust and Probate team are leading the way in Stockport.
Dementia is one of the biggest health issues in the UK with over 670,000 people currently living with the condition.
“Some of those are either our direct clients or family members caring for relatives with dementia,” explained Tasoula, “so for us this was an important thing to do, and do quickly.
“Understanding dementia is a crucial part of being able to meet our clients’ legal needs in the right way.”
Tasoula and Moira attended a full-day training session where they learnt more about the condition and how to deliver the same information to others.
Tasoula said: “We met all sorts of interesting people on the course, some who had decided to do it because they were looking after sufferers at home or had experience of it at work.
“The course explained the different aspects of dementia in a really good, interactive way using games and everyday language. It made me realise how easily people with dementia can be misunderstood and how it affects people in different ways and at different stages.”
The illness is known to be hugely alienating as people struggle with short term memory and, as a result, can start to lose their way and their friends, who don’t understand the situation or how to deal with it.
The Gorvins team not only became Dementia Friends they became ‘Champions’ as well.
“That means we are equipped to educate colleagues in the firm, our clients and other people, “explained Moira Percival. “The aim is to create dementia-friendly communities where people know about the challenges and are better placed to help.”
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, says: “Until there’s a cure, friendship is the best treatment we have for dementia.”
A recent report highlighted that 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will develop dementia in their lifetime.
Celebrities Eamonn Holmes, Sam Bailey, Alesha Dixon, Paul O’Grady and Amanda Holden are all backing the campaign.