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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Practical care and support

Fiona Shand, Client Welfare Manager discusses professional assistance in supporting people with Alzheimer’s
For over thirty years Balfour+Manson has provided a wide range of services to clients beyond the strict definition of legal advice, including help with what might be described as general welfare.
The issue of care for older, disabled and vulnerable adults, including those with Alzheimer’s, has seen many changes over the past few years and the pace of change continues.  Family structures are changing, as are working patterns, and the provision of care and support within families is being put under pressure. 
For some, being able to turn to professional advisors for extra guidance is a reassuring bonus.  For others, professional assistance is vital, particularly if they don’t have family nearby. Our dedicated Client Welfare Team means that we are uniquely placed to advise and assist clients to access care appropriate to their needs.  Welfare Managers, Jo Downie and Fiona Shand, consistently develop this aspect of our work and provide a comprehensive, sensitive and professional service.
Maintaining independence and choice for as long as possible, and putting in place care appropriate for changing circumstances is crucial but sometimes compromises do have to be made.  When independence is no longer an option we can continue to manage client’s affairs in a way which we know would be sympathetic to their wishes and assist them in finding solutions tailored to their individual needs. 
Both Jo and Fiona work with a number of clients who are living with a diagnosis of dementia.  Some continue to live in their own homes with additional support,  others are resident in care homes.  Everyone is unique and what suits one person may not necessarily suit another.   Jo and Fiona have knowledge of homecare services and care homes throughout Scotland and can advise accordingly.   Some clients choose to downsize to a smaller more manageable property.  Assistance can be given to clear their home and place items in the best suited auction room to obtain maximum value. 
Loneliness and isolation is harmful to everyone’s health, but can be particularly damaging for those with dementia.  There are now a number of community supports, such as dementia cafes, dementia choirs and social groups for the person and their carer to attend together. 
Fiona and Jo can advise on what is available to enable clients to live as full a life as possible. For further information please call us on 0131 200 1200.