Financial advisors train to be dementia friends

Jillian Thomas, left, and Suzanne Jeakins of Banner Jones Wealth Management

Financial advisors at Chesterfield-based Banner Jones Wealth Management have received training to become Dementia Friends.

Jillian Thomas and Suzanne Jeakins, financial advisors at Banner Jones Wealth Management, have completed Dementia Friends training through the Alzheimer’s Society which aims to change people’s perceptions of dementia.

The Dementia Friends programme aims to transform the way people think, act and talk about the condition.

Jillian said: “We have a duty of care to our clients which is why it was important to us to become Dementia Friends. The training has enabled us to become more aware of the signs and understand when clients might be vulnerable.

“I found the training truly inspiring and learnt a great deal. It changed my perceptions of the condition – it’s not just about losing your memory, and it’s possible for some people to live well with dementia. It can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of their age and there’s much more to a person than their dementia.”

Jillian and the team at Banner Jones Wealth Management have already been putting what they have learned into practice to care for their clients.

She said: “We work with a successful business woman who left her job when her dementia got too much. She lived on her own in a row of identical houses but couldn’t remember her house number. So, we bought her a blue dementia flower to put on her doorstep to remember. It’s little things like this that can make a difference.

“Some people with dementia will have good days and bad, so it’s important for us to be able to identify clients who might need help to look after their interests. For example, using a lasting power of attorney – a legal document which allows clients to appoint one or more people to make decisions on their behalf.”

Banner Jones Wealth Management is a joint venture between Banner Jones Solicitors which has its headquarters in Chesterfield, and Future Life Wealth Management which is based in Renishaw near Sheffield. The company provides wealth management advice, financial planning and legal advice for businesses, individuals, trustees and inheritors of wealth.