Why we are passionate about being ‘Dementia Friends’

At Finders International, many of our staff have trained as Dementia Friends and we are proud to be the only UK probate research firm who train staff to support this initiative.

What is the Dementia Friends initiative? Run by the Alzheimer’s Society, a Dementia Friend is a person who endeavours to learn more about the condition so that they can help in their community.

Many people affected by dementia feel that the wider society does not understand the condition they live with. Dementia Friends help by raising awareness and understanding so that people living with dementia can continue to live the way they want.

Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions. These can be volunteer-led activities in the community or smaller things such as educating the people they know about what dementia is and what it is like to live with the condition.

The organisation is keen to emphasise that the actions needn’t be time-consuming. Support can even involve something such as being more patient in a shop queue. Every little helps. Those who sign up can also help by fundraising, campaigning, volunteering or wearing a badge that shows their support.

Dementia is caused by various diseases that affect the brain. The most common is Alzheimer’s but they also include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Pick’s disease. The different types affect the brain at a different rate and in varied ways, but a person’s circumstances, their surroundings and the people around them will affect their experience of the condition.

Dementia symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. At first, the changes are often small and not that noticeable but as dementia progresses it becomes severe enough to affect daily life, and someone with dementia may also experience changes in their behaviour or mood.

In the course of our work to find the rightful heirs to an estate or through what we do in support of deputyship in local councils, we meet many older people – some of whom are the beneficiaries to estates.

We feel it is important that our staff can identify people who may be suffering or vulnerable. This is especially important where legal processes and signing of papers and contracts are required.

As a professional heir location and missing beneficiary tracing firm, if we have doubts over a beneficiary’s mental capacity, we will ask friends, family or appointed representatives for advice and always try to ensure we respect any situation that we may find ourselves in.

Danny Curran, Finders International’s CEO and founder says: “According to Alzheimer’s Research UK*, by 2025 the disability relating to dementia will increase by 40 percent among people aged 65 to 84, so even if we do not have personal experience of dementia yet, the chances of avoiding that narrow considerably as we age—whether that is developing the condition ourselves, living with someone who suffers from it or seeing it in our relatives.

“This, and our work with people in the community who have dementia, makes us determined to do what we can to raise awareness of the condition and play our part in creating dementia-friendly spaces and communities.”

* https://dementiacarers.org.uk/for-dementia-professionals/key-facts-figures/

Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]