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Balfour+Manson Client Welfare team

With the recent adverse weather, you may find yourself worrying about elderly or otherwise vulnerable relatives or friends who live in Edinburgh and the surrounding area.  Whether it is because of family or work commitments, distance or simply a lack of time, you may not be able to visit them as often as you would like to provide the practical support that they need.
If you find yourself in this position, you may want to consider the services offered by Balfour+Manson’s dedicated Client Welfare Team.

Jo Downie and Fiona Shand, Balfour+Manson’s Client Welfare Managers, have over 20 years of welfare experience between them and have considerable experience of caring for individuals when their family and friends are unable to do so. Working together with our legal advisers, Jo and Fiona provide a holistic and tailored service for each client, supporting them so that they can remain in their own home and maintain their independence and identity for as long as possible, always with the aim of maximising the individual’s quality of life.
Balfour+Manson’s Client Welfare Team have the contacts that enable them to put care packages in place, at short notice if required, and will tailor the support provided to the individual needs of our clients. For example, they arranged recently for a client to join a bridge group but, when this proved to be less suitable than expected, they arranged for befrienders to visit the lady in her own home to play bridge with her. Another client whose mobility has become an increasing difficulty wanted to continue to attend lectures and lunches. Jo put the necessary support in place to escort her to and from events in order to maintain her social contacts and prevent isolation.

During the colder months, Jo and Fiona will check on some of their most vulnerable clients and provide emergency grocery deliveries across the city whilst also ensuring that everybody has access to heating and hot water. They will arrange for routine maintenance to be carried out or for homes to be drained down if they are going to be standing empty for long periods. 
As the firm has particular expertise in representing those who have suffered a brain injury, the Client Welfare Team also supports younger vulnerable people who need practical support to help them integrate back into the community. For example, Fiona has assisted young clients to live independently, arranged for them to attend counselling sessions and helped them to participate in part-time college courses. Through her knowledge of the system and the opportunities that are available, she recently organised for one client to benefit from a charity-funded wheelchair.
Every person’s needs and ideas of residential care are different – there is no ‘one shoe fits all’. Jo and Fiona work sensitively to find the right care home, liaising with family and friends where possible to help clients make the right choice. They have a good knowledge of the care system and established relationships with care home owners and managers in and around Edinburgh.
Throughout their involvement, Jo and Fiona will provide regular and detailed updates to family members or friends, even when families live as far away as Australia. They will provide relatives or friends with relevant and up-to-date information, helping them to make what can be sensitive and difficult decisions.
If you would like to speak to either Jo or Fiona to find out more about the service they can offer, please don’t hesitate to contact them for an informal and confidential discussion. Alternatively, you may wish to arrange for them to speak to your group or organisation about their experiences of working in client welfare and the services that they offer.
Jo can be contacted on jo.downie@balfour-manson.co.uk or 0131 200 1273 and Fiona on fiona.shand@balfour-manson.co.uk 0131 200 1266.

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