Talking a language people understand is one of Talbots’ values. How do you ensure this is possible when that person has dementia?
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. Talbots Law’s Mel Blackburn, Director, has been a Dementia Champion since 2015: “People are often surprised at how variable dementia is in its effects” says Mel, “and that people with dementia can continue to live well, provided they receive the support and understanding they need.”
“The way that we talk and think about dementia can have a huge impact on our behaviour when dealing with people with the disease.” Mel concludes. “Most importantly, trying not to use negative language when talking about people with dementia – like not calling someone “a dementia sufferer” but rather someone with dementia – ensures we see the person first.
Mel aims to help change preconceptions of Dementia and how the condition can materialise within each person affected. The training aims to help participants know a little more about how to help Dementia sufferers in every day interactions. This could be in a supermarket or waiting for a bus, but these scenarios can trigger numerous reactions from a person living with Dementia and a little more understanding of this can go a long way. Mel has already provided face-to-face sessions for her Trusts & Estates colleagues to help them understand
what it is like for people living with dementia, and the ways they could help. As a result, all members of Trusts & Estates team have become either registered Dementia Friends or Dementia Champions.
If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or you are part of a group that wish to complete the training please contact Mel
Blackburn on 01902 843427. The Dementia Friends’ presentation lasts 45/60 minutes. If you have any other queries about dementia or helping manage the affairs of friends of family members with dementia then contact Talbots on 0800 118 1500, Our Trusts & Estates team covers all of our 7 offices across the Black Country.