Alzheimer's Society has produced an informative guide for employers to help them gain an understanding of dementia, how it impacts organisations and the practical steps they can take to support employees, clients and customers. We hope managers will use this guide as a tool to review existing approaches to supporting people living with dementia in the workplace. We also hope it will be a catalyst to help organisations think differently about how to support colleagues living with dementia and their carers in the future.
There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and 45,000 are under the age of 65. These numbers are set to rise to a staggering 1 million by 2025. It is therefore vitally important for organisations to consider the role they can play to support their staff and customers who are affected by dementia. Research indicates that this will be beneficial to the organisation for a number of reasons - most notably that staff will be able to perform to their maximum potential for longer. Employers are not only doing the right thing, but they are ensuring their organisation is more productive
The guide outlines the various ways dementia can impact on organisations - members of the workforce living with the condition, those who are have caring responsibilities, or customers or clients affected by the condition. There are significant risks to not taking action, particularly around staff retention and neglecting the needs of clients or customers, which can result in lost revenue.
Organisations of all sizes can take action. The guide provides employers with valuable background information on dementia, to help them to develop a better understanding of the condition. It provides advice on how to become a dementia friendly employer and highlights some of the scenarios which can occur in the workplace with appropriate responses employers can adopt.
The guide was put together by a group of experts from Alzheimer's Society's Employers working group. The group consists of individuals from a wide range of organisations in the employment field, including Inclusive Employers, Unison, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Public Health England. The group is part of Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friendly Communities programme.