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Dementia Friends

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The Dementia Friends initiative is being run by the Alzheimer’s Society to help improve peoples’ understanding of dementia and how people can live well with dementia. We have been taking some steps here at Clarion HQ to become more dementia friendly ....

I recently completed a Dementia Friends Champion Training which means that I am now able to deliver Dementia Friends Information sessions.

The Dementia Friends initiative aims to create one million Dementia Friends by 2015. A Dementia Friend is somebody who has attended an information session and is committed to an action, however small or big, which will help people to live well with dementia.

Earlier in the year, members of staff from Clarion, from the Front of House team to the Managing Partner attended a Dementia Friends Information session that was run by another Dementia Friends Champion at our offices.  This was a lively and enjoyable session and the overwhelming response was one of positivity. The enthusiasm for the session reflects this firm’s commitment to valuing all of our clients including people who are living with dementia.

Dementia affects people from all walks of life including those who buy properties, run businesses, have disputes and relationship breakdowns so their requirement for legal services can be the same as somebody who is not living with dementia. By working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly firm and we hope that we are prompting a positive and inclusive attitude alongside other businesses and organisations in Leeds.

Clarion is a member of the Leeds Dementia Action Alliance alongside a multitude of other business and organisations in the Yorkshire and Humber region such as Leeds City Council, East Coast Mainline Limited, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Two of the statistics* that I learned at the dementia Friends Champion training session are that 44% of people with dementia feel that they have lost friends after being diagnosed and that 67% of people with dementia don’t feel part of the community. That’s a lot of people. This is surely something that can be improved if we are able to take a small amount of time to become a little bit more aware of dementia and even think about becoming a Dementia Friend.

A shining example of a Dementia Friendly community is “Dementia Friendly Rothwell.” The main driver behind this project and the organiser of the dementia friendly Tea Cosy Café in Rothwell, Peter Smith, has even met David Cameron to talk about the work that they have done to create a Dementia Friendly community.

I am more than happy to host Dementia Friendly Information sessions here at our offices or to attend your business premises if you think you and your colleagues or your work force would like to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about dementia and the option to become a Dementia Friend.

*Dementia 2012 National Report

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