Programme Partnership Project Manager, Alzehimer’s Society
There are now 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and someone develops it every three minutes. It will affect everyone in every sector and every industry, from customers to staff.
With the UK statutory retirement age rising, we will see many more people developing dementia while still in employment and others seeking to combine being a carer with working.
Equally, consumers want businesses and organisations who value their customers, and who are aware of their needs. Businesses must future proof against dementia but this will only be achieved with greater awareness, understanding and support for customers and staff who are impacted by dementia.
People with dementia have the right to live a life they love and to continue doing the things they enjoy. But, too often, people with dementia don’t feel included in their communities and face isolation.
Trevor from Middlesex told us about his wife, Yvonne, who worked at a well-known, chain supermarket. Her employer was very supportive when her capabilities declined because of her dementia. The store adapted Yvonne’s tasks, which eased the difficulties she was having and made her feel valued. But not all organisations may feel they are able to offer that level of support.
From retail to housing, utilities to entertainment, finance to transport, all sectors have a part to play in supporting people living with dementia to continue to do the everyday things many of us take for granted such as shopping, banking and hopping on the bus.
A Dementia-Friendly Business Guide
Alzheimer’s Society has produced a Dementia-Friendly Business Guide, which highlights the many ways a business can better support people affected by dementia. It is often the simplest things that help best. The charity also runs Dementia Friends, the largest social action movement on dementia. It was developed to tackle the lack of understanding people with dementia face on a day-to-day basis and can be rolled out across organisations as a key step to becoming dementia-friendly.
Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation isn’t just a socially-responsible step – it has clear business benefits, including competitive advantage and enhanced brand reputation.
To unite against dementia and find out how to futureproof your business, download the guide at alzheimers.org.uk/business