As a Solicitor specialising in Elderly Client Law for almost 30 years, Lynda Monks is aware of the dramatic increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia and the need to improve society’s understanding of dementia.

“As a Dementia Friends Champion, there are 5 key things everyone should know about dementia;

1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
2. Dementia is caused by brain diseases
3. It’s not just about losing your memory
4. It is possible to live well with dementia
5. There is more to the person than the dementia.

There are many types of dementia – the most common being Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The symptoms and progression are all different and each person will experience dementia in their own way.

As a Dementia Friends Champion I do try to change people’s perception of dementia and ensure people with dementia or families affected by loved ones with dementia feel there is support. The Dementia Report in 2012 indicated 75% of people in the UK do not think society is geared up to deal with people with dementia and 61% of people with dementia feel lonely.

Wearing a legal hat I would advise everyone it is important to plan for the future – by putting your financial and legal affairs in order. Making a will is only one step, you must also consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney – a legal document appointing someone to look after your financial or health affairs, prepare a list of the insurance policies on your home, contents, car and life as well as the bank and building society accounts, pension plans and investments you have.”

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