COLUMN: Help available for Doncaster’s dementia sufferers

Dementia.
Dementia.

It’s World Alzheimer’s Day on Wednesday and a timely to moment to reflect that living with dementia, or caring for someone who has dementia, can present many challenges and require a lot of planning for the future.

People often don’t know where to go to find the information they need, which is why I’ve got some good news to share about a free new legal service that launches next month in Doncaster to provide welcome help. It will provide useful advice about the many complex issues that can arise when caring for someone with dementia, including home disputes and powers of attorney.

Dr David Crichton.

Dr David Crichton.

The Doncaster Dementia Law Clinic has been set up in partnership with the University of Manchester and adult care charity Making Space as part of Doncaster’s commitment to helping people live well with dementia and plan for the future. Local NHS organisations are involved plus Age UK Doncaster, Alzheimer’s Society and Sue Ryder.

One-to-one consultations will be available with Manchester-based legal experts via Skype either from a person’s home or three specially created ‘hot spots’ at Sandalwood Day Centre in Wheatley Hills, Moat Hills Day Centre in Bentley, and Crimpsall Day Centre in Hexthorpe.

When someone attends a one-to-one consultation at the Doncaster Dementia Law Clinic, students and a supervising lawyer or barrister will discuss their case with them. A letter of advice will then be sent within two weeks.

The law clinic will also provide the additional benefits of providing emotional support to increase wellbeing.

It will help people plan for the future and alleviate worries. The legal issues the Dementia Law Clinic can advise on include continuing healthcare, court of protection, disputes of mental capacity, trust, inheritance and probate.

People will be signposted to the service by the Doncaster Admiral Service, which provides support for people and families through their dementia ‘journey’, with referrals also coming from other professionals and direct from families.

The service launches on October 3 but please note that all appointments must be pre-booked by ringing 0161 275 7976 or emailing free.legal@manchesyter.ac.uk.

There won’t be any drop-in support at the day centre ‘hot spots’.

Currently there are over 3, 500 Doncaster people who have been diagnosed with dementia and we expect for a borough our size that a further 1, 000 people are living with dementia but have not yet been given a diagnosis.

This is an excellent example of how technology can make vital advice more easily accessible and will make a real difference to Doncaster families who currently don’t know where to turn.