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Solicitor in drive to help make Doncaster dementia friendly

Vicky Sladdin, a specialist Wills and Probate solicitor with the firm has trained as a volunteer Dementia Friend’s Champion.  In her role, Vicky runs information sessions to help others understand the part they can play in supporting those living with dementia.  The Dementia Friends objective, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative aims to create dementia friendly communities by improving the understanding of dementia for one million people and inspiring them to act by helping those living with dementia to feel understood and included in their community. In their commitment to have a better understanding of helping people living with dementia,  almost 90 of Vicky’s colleagues have taken part in the information sessions she runs, including partners, receptionists, lawyers and support staff, who have all become Dementia Friends. One of them was Jan Carter, a secretary at the firm, whose father-in-law has dementia. She said: “It was fascinating, I’ve learned so much.  Understanding about my father-in-laws illness makes it much easier to cope with the difficult days we have.”  Vicky is now planning to hold a series of one hour information sessions for anyone who would like to understand more about dementia and in doing so to help create a dementia friendly community.  Vicky said: “Being dementia friendly is not about being an expert in dementia.  It’s about having the basic understanding to be able to support someone living with dementia. It’s about understanding what dementia is and how the small things we do can make a difference to those in our community who are living with dementia, and those who care for them.  “Much of my work involves advising elderly clients and their families. Becoming a Dementia Friends Champion has helped me have a much better understanding  of how having dementia affects a persons’ life, and in turn, assists me in the way I interact with my clients who are living with dementia.  Having the capacity to give instructions is important and being able to recognise that a client has dementia helps when taking instructions from them. “On a personal level, my mum has dementia, so I have first-hand experience. This is something I am passionate about and I’m enthusiastic about getting more people on board. Becoming a Dementia Friends Champion has certainly helped me to better understand my mum’s needs.” Latest figures estimate that there are over 4.000 people in Doncaster living with dementia, but only 2,411 have received a formal diagnosis. This figure is expected to rise as the national figure also rises to reach the estimated 1 million sufferers by 2025 and over 1.7 million by 2051.  Would you like to find how you can help support someone with dementia? Vicky’s next information session will be on Thursday 12 March, 4pm at Atherton Godfrey, 8 Hall Gate Doncaster. Call 01302 320621 to book your place – places are strictly limited.

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