A North East law firm has announced a campaign to make the region a better place for those living with dementia.

Directors at Emmersons Solicitors have announced plans to ramp-up their dedication to educating local businesses, organisations and schools about the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. The firm is also set to run free sessions from its Sunderland office to help other local businesses, organisations and individuals to become Dementia Friends.

There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2021, while 225,000 will develop dementia this year – one every three minutes. Symptoms can include memory loss, change in behaviour, difficulty with communicating and language, aggression and anxiety.

Members of the firm’s team have already become official Dementia Friends, an initiative set up by Alzheimer’s Society. The law practice also plays an integral part in the Gosforth Dementia Friendly Group, joining forces with other local businesses and charities in sharing their knowledge and experiences of supporting clients and loved ones living with diseases which cause dementia.

The group, which meets once a month, has been instrumental in introducing dementia friendly cafes and other retail initiatives, encouraging people with dementia to go shopping in a comfortable environment

Michael Robinson, director at Emmersons Solicitors, has now undergone training to become a Dementia Champion, which will allow him to help others to become Dementia Friends. He said: “As a local business it is important for us to support our communities, especially in relation to something which impacts so many people. The amount of people being diagnosed with dementia is set to rise, and we need all of these people, present and future, to be supported by their community as much as possible.

“It is important that despite a dementia diagnosis, people are able to continue living a healthy lifestyle which supports mental and physical wellbeing.  It is our aim to join forces with charities and other local businesses to ensure that dementia is no longer a taboo subject.

“Our campaign stems from our experience of providing families with legal support to help them with ling-term life planning, for example in appointing an attorney or a deputy and generally being able to put their affairs in order. Such clients often report a feeling of relief that we have helped them put this planning in place to futureproof their family circumstances. Cases of this nature are often simple and straightforward, however if left too late they can become very long, distressing and expensive, which often occurs because of lack of awareness of dementia and other diseases which impact the ability to legally make independent decisions.”

For more information on Emmersons’ Private Client department please visit http://www.emmersons-solicitors.co.uk http://www.emmersons-solicitors.co.uk/lasting-power-of-attorney.php