On the journey to becoming a dementia friendly organisationSeptember 3 2015
This paper shares the lessons that have been learned through the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Dementia without Walls programme which started in June 2012 with a vision of making the UK a better place for people with dementia.
An increasing number of people will be affected by dementia in their lives, either directly or as a carer when a relative, friend or neighbour is diagnosed. We know that coping with the first symptoms of dementia, or supporting someone who has it, is often stressful and can affect people at work.
A lack of understanding or confidence can prevent organisations and employers from responding positively to people affected by dementia. Organisations that are dementia friendly recognise and address the impact of dementia on staff and their families.
The briefing paper suggests the folllowing solutions for organisations:
- An organisation-wide approach signals that dementia awareness is important for everyone.
- Using a community development approach can help build capacity and lead to more flexibility of
approach, greater staff engagement, and a sense of ownership from the bottom up.
- Corporate endorsement and top-down leadership is important in enabling staff participation, giving profile to the work and sustaining the commitment.
- A wide range of mechanisms can be used to raise awareness and provide information about dementia to staff.
- Effective involvement of people with dementia and carers can help challenge attitudes and assumptions.
- Providing multiple and varied opportunities for staff involvement can reveal individual interests, skills and passions.