As an Alzheimer’s Society trained Dementia Friend Champion, I encourage people to attend Dementia Friends sessions to increase their understanding of Dementia and find out how they can help people living with Dementia in their communities.
I also work with businesses to show them some of the easy first steps they can take to become a more dementia friendly organisation and contribute to tackling the social and economic impact of dementia highlighted in the following statistics:
- The number of people living with dementia in the UK is set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051
- Current statistics show that every three minutes someone will develop dementia.
Research carried out by Alzheimer’s Society shows that less than half (47%) of people living with dementia feel a part of their community and 28% said they have given up even getting out of the house.
Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation and supporting people with dementia to use your services and facilities is not just a socially responsible step – it can also benefit your business:
- Having staff who have an increased knowledge and awareness of Dementia will hopefully make them more confident when dealing with all customers leading to improved customer service;
- Being recognised as a dementia-friendly business will enhance brand reputation and demonstrate that the business is socially responsible; and
- To comply with the Law. Under the Equality Act 2010, organisations have a legal obligation to ensure comsumers are adequately protected and that access to services is as inclusive as possible.
How can my business become dementia-friendly?
Kent County Council run an initiative to create a Dementia Friendly Kent. The Dementia Friendly Kent ‘WTBDF’ recognition symbol can be applied for by businesses who have committed to becoming dementia friendly. There are separate applications for businesses and organisations and health and social care providers.
Some of the pledges made are as follows:
- Encouraging their staff to attend a Dementia Friends session. A number of organisations have now included the training into their induction training;
- Reviewing signage and making premises more accessible to people living with dementia; and
- Consider the use of the language used within your marketing literature.
The applications are renewed annually to ensure businesses are committed to their pledges.
Girlings is proud to have been awarded the recognition symbol for the past three years. Nearly 50% of our staff have attended dementia friends sessions and I am hoping to increase this to 100%.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a dementia-friendly business or arrange a dementia friend session for your workplace, please do not hesitate to contact me, Charlotte Parsons.
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