Leading Law Firm Commits To Becoming Most Dementia-Friendly Legal Business In UK
Irwin Mitchell has revealed how 424 of its lawyers based in offices across the country have pledged to help the national law firm become one of the most dementia-friendly businesses in the UK, after they took part in training to become ‘Dementia Friends’.
That means that around 15.5% of employees at the law firm have received information about how to help people live well with dementia – more than one in six employees across the country.
To mark Dementia Awareness Week, (15-21 May) the law firm encouraged employees across all of its offices to get involved with the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme, which is based on changing the public’s perception of the condition.
The firm held a series of 60-minute sessions in 12 of its offices to promote the scheme, with Group Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Tucker, lending a hand to introduce the first seminar held at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield site.
Those who attended were then encouraged to go home and spread the word to friends and family on what they learned about dementia and the many challenges that those with the condition face.
Ben Saunders, a solicitor from the Elderly & Vulnerable Client team (E&VC) at Irwin Mitchell’s Newbury office, hosted the sessions alongside Chichester-based senior associate Catherine Diamond. Both are Dementia Friends Champions and have trained more than 170 ‘friends’ in the past.
Ben said: “These were informal sessions run by volunteers which explained simply the ways in which dementia can change people’s lives.
“The key focus of the sessions, however, is that there is always more to the person than the dementia and that, with an early diagnosis and appropriate support from family, friends and professionals, it is possible for people to live well with dementia for many years.”
Catherine, also a specialist in EC&V, added: “Our experience shows us the impact that dementia has on those who live with the condition and their loved ones. We want to help improve life for these people by helping to create as many new Dementia Friends as possible.
“Not only so our employees have a better understanding of the clients they are working with, but so they can spread the word to their own families and friends and help the wider communities we operate in become more inclusive by giving them a greater understanding of dementia and ways to help people living with the condition.”
Dementia Awareness Week took place from May 15th to 21st. There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with the figure expected to reach over two million by 2051.