Dementia is one of the greatest challenges we face in society today. With the UK statutory retirement age rising, and the number of people expected to rise to 1 million by 2021, we will see many more people developing dementia whilst still in employment. Many others will seek to combine being a carer with working. Businesses need to future proof all aspects of their operations. Consumers want businesses and organisations which value their customers.
Businesses are now realising that it makes good sense to be dementia friendly. By developing an understanding of the condition businesses can make a huge difference to those living with dementia and their quality of life.
Would your business/ organisation like to better support people affected by dementia? Would you like to help make your town, and Kent in general, Dementia Friendly? Your business/ organisation can apply for the ‘Working to become dementia friendly (WTBDF) Recognition Symbol which you will be able to display in literature, web sites, adverts and social media. In fact, anywhere that you think is appropriate to highlight your company’s commitment to supporting those in your community who live with the condition and your local dementia action group.
Obtaining the WTBDF symbol is not difficult, it simply requires your business to make some simple pledges and review the pledges annually. You will be asked to look, critically, at the way you conduct your business, your premises and your staff to see how simple changes may impact on the life of both a person with dementia and/or those who care for them.
It doesn’t mean that you will be dementia friendly from day one: that you have to identify customers who have dementia or ask difficult and intrusive questions: breach existing legislation such as the data protection act and the mental capacity act: make alterations to your business premises or ignore normal security processes and procedures.
Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation is not just a socially responsible step – it can also benefit your business. There are clear economic benefits in supporting people with dementia to use your services and facilities. This does not mean prioritising dementia over other conditions or disabilities. But when a business responds to the challenges faced by people with dementia and takes positive action, it can reap the benefits of improved customer experiences, increased revenue and better staff retention.
It may seem confusing that the symbol and status is 'working' to become dementia friendly. That's quite deliberate as no organisation will ever be 100% dementia friendly. There will always be something more that can be done.
Local businesses currently holding the working to be dementia friendly symbol:
Abbey Funeral Services Tonbridge
AgeUK Tonbridge, Town Lock, Tonbridge
Angel Indoor Bowls Centre Tunbridge Wells
Castle Cars Tonbridge
Charity Bank Tonbridge
Cooper Burnett Solicitors Tonbridge
Handelsbanken Bank Tunbridge Wells
Hildenborough Farmers Market Hildenborough
Inspirations Hair Salon Tonbridge
Nancy's Tearooms Tonbridge
Poult Wood Golf Club Tonbridge
Thompson Snell & Passmore Law Firm Tunbridge Wells
TM Leisure Angel Centre Tonbridge
TM Leisure Swimming Pool Tonbridge
St John's Church Hildenborough