850,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia, a figure set to rise to 1 million by 2021.
Another figure soon to be rising is the UK retirement age, subsequently there will be more people developing dementia whilst still at work. Now more than ever – Dementia Friendly Business needs to become a priority across the sectors.
The first step to becoming a Dementia Friendly Business, is to join your local Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). There are over 150 national organisations across England sharing best practice and taking action on dementia. The Norwich DAA has over 80 member organisations across various sectors pledging to
Train their staff to be aware of the impact of dementia
Review their products and processes to tackle the challenges customers and staff face
Change environments to ensure they are accessible for people living with dementia
A recent survey of DAA Norwich members showed that 89% of staff reacted positively to joining the alliance. Businesses saw most improvement in customer service, training, publicity, networking and morale.
6 Business Benefits to becoming Dementia Friendly
Competitive advantage: 83% of people with memory problems have switched their shopping habits to places that are more accessible. (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013)
Increased revenue: Businesses will keep and build on existing custom, both from people living with the condition and from their carers, family and friends.
Improved customer service: Increased knowledge and awareness of dementia will make staff more confident when dealing with all customers.
Enhanced brand reputation: Becoming a Dementia Friendly Business will demonstrate social responsibility and customer value.
Future-proofing: By making changes now, businesses will be anticipating a growing need from customers and staff living with or caring for someone with dementia.
Complying with the law: Under the Equality Act (2010), organisations have a legal duty to ensure people are adequately protected and that access to services is as inclusive as possible. This includes making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for customers and employees with disabilities, including people living with dementia.
Norwich Airport sit on the steering group for the Norwich Dementia Action Alliance and JamiePrice, Airport Security Manager who is responsible for Special Airport Assistance, said:
“Being a member of the Dementia Action Alliance has been a huge benefit to our staff and passengers. It has allowed us to share best practice and work with organisations like Age Space and Age UK to develop our own programme of support. Our goal is to ensure that those living with hidden disabilities and their families have the opportunity to enjoy their journey through our airport. To receive all the help and support they need, promoting the freedom and confidence to travel. As a DAA member we have developed innovative tools like video walk-throughs so people with dementia and their carers know what to expect. We actively encourage people to visit us before their day of travel so they can rehearse with our staff exactly what will happen. We’re committed to being a dementia friendly environment and our DAA membership is a huge support in achieving that.”
For more information joining the Dementia Action Alliance Norwich visit the website HERE or email Marie Lucas, NCDAA Coordinator – email@example.com