Cautious Welcome to Dementia Friends Initiative
Rita Sen Solicitors have given a cautious welcome to the announcement by the Government that it intends to fund a Scheme to train up to 1,000,000 “Dementia Friends” by 2015 in order to raise the profile of dementia within the community and provide individuals with the skills necessary to identify the early stages of the onset of the disease and provide support to sufferers.
The Scheme, based on a similar initiative launched in Japan, is intended to help with the expected doubling of dementia sufferers over the next 30 years as the population continues to age. There are already an estimated 700,000 individuals affected by the condition. Launching the Scheme the Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the present awareness of the illness as “shockingly low”.
Caroline Barnes, a Solicitor who regularly deals with Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection matters, said, “Anything that helps raise the profile of this pernicious illness is to be welcomed. We do, however, have a few concerns about the Scheme. The level of training is not very clear from the Government’s announcement and nor is it readily apparent what is meant by “provide support”. No doubt the overwhelming majority of people who get involved in this will do so with the best possible motives and very probably because the disease has impacted upon their family. We are concerned, however, that there might be the opportunity for an unscrupulous individual to exploit the Scheme and a vulnerable sufferer for their own benefit.”
Rita Sen Solicitors provides specialist advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters and has extensive experience in helping dementia sufferers and their families.
Further information relating to the Dementia Friends Scheme is available at http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/siteHomePage