Local dementia facts affecting Worthing businesses

Local dementia facts that affect all Worthing businesses and employers

Dementia Friendly Worthing has just been given the latest fact that affect local employers and businesses. Please feel free to circulate this infographic which estimates that there are 2,000 people over 65 living with dementia in Worthing. This is expected to rise to 3,000 by 2030.

  • That is one in every 12 people over 65!
  • Two-thirds of people, living with dementia, are living at home.
  • 49% of the UK public say they are more likely to support a company if they know it supports people with dementia (YouGov 2011).

In addition, there are estimated to be 6,000 family and friends caring for people with dementia in Worthing and here are some facts you need to know as an employer.

  • There are approximately 70 people of working age (under 65) living with dementia in Worthing.
  • 18% of people diagnosed with dementia under 65 continue to work after their diagnosis.
  • Early retirement of those with dementia costs businesses £627 million a year in England alone.
  • 21% of family carers give up work or reduce hours at a cost to businesses in England of £1.6 billion.
  • 51% of people caring for a family member with dementia are still in work and in need of support from their employers.

What can you do? Would you like to know more?

You can contact us at and we can put you in touch with the local Alzheimer’s co-ordinator; invite you to our next Dementia Alliance Meeting; organise dementia friends sessions for your staff and support you in your action plan to become a more dementia friendly business.

Our next meeting is on 21 June at 4pm at the Bradbury Wellbeing Centre, Haviland House, Goring-by-Sea and we shall shortly be organising one with Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. Please watch this space for more details.


Businesses turn out for Dementia Friendly Worthing

Worthing is one of 225 communities in the UK working to become dementia friendly. On Tuesday, 28 March, local businesses from Worthing to Bognor, turned up to Worthing’s Dementia Action Alliance event to discover how they could become part of a dementia friendly community.

Following presentations on dementia friendly communities by the Alzheimer’s Society and members of Worthing Dementia Action Alliance, local businesses such as Bennett Griffin and Stagecoach Buses spoke about how they were supporting the initiative and the benefits to customers, clients and employees.

Bennett Griffin’s journey began with a Dementia Friends information session for a team of fifteen. Following positive feedback, the firm invested in two of their solicitors, Ian Macara and Elin Dukes, being accredited by the Alzheimer’s Society as Dementia Friends Champions. They now facilitate sessions in-house for all employees providing a better understanding of what dementia is and how they can tailor their advice and assistance to meet growing needs. In addition, they offer monthly open sessions to members of the public and are strong advocates within the business community. Ian Macara said, ‘The sessions show how some seemingly small things our staff can do help those affected by dementia or their carers and can make a huge difference to their experience as their clients.’

Southdown Leisure, which includes Splashpoint and Worthing Leisure Centre, have around 200 staff. Their four Dementia Champions are rolling the programme out across their centres and, local bus company Stagecoach, are just getting off the ground with their admin staff and hope to start their roll-out to 180+ drivers as soon as they are able.

Dawn Fairbrother, from the Alzheimer’s Society, explained how people who are affected by dementia, wanted to be better understood and included so that they could continue to contribute to their local community. ‘Everyone, from governments and health boards to the local corner shop and hairdressers, has a responsibility to make sure people with dementia feel active, engaged and valued’ said Dawn.

How can businesses become dementia friendly?

  • Improve staff awareness and understand of the impact of dementia and how it changes customers’ needs.
  • Review the physical environment of your business and consider how a customer with dementia may be confused with a process to purchase and how you might improve this.
  • Support staff who develop dementia or care for a person with dementia, by permitting flexible working hours so a carer can attend a monthly carers support meeting, hospital/doctor’s appointments. A little understanding from a boss can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety carers are often under.
  • Support the local community. Be involved in Dementia Awareness Week, hold your own event or, attend and support another. Hold a Dementia Friends session or a bake-off to help raise awareness.

The Worthing Dementia Action Alliance is able to offer Dementia Friends sessions to local businesses and also put you in touch with business support if you have carers in your workforce.


The business advantages of being dementia friendly

Dementia affects every workplace, but things are looking brighter in Worthing, where local businesses are recognising this issue and signing up to the Worthing Dementia Action Alliance to support the town in becoming a Dementia Friendly Community.

The Worthing Dementia Action Alliance is holding a Dementia Friendly Community event for businesses on 28th March 2017, Worthing Leisure Centre, Shaftesbury Avenue, Worthing from 5.30pm with buffet and networking.

Local businesses leading the way include Bennett Griffin, Southdown Leisure, Barclays Bank, Relative matters, Hanover Housing, Breathing Spaces and Fine Marketing, who are all supporting their community through a range of action plans.

Local charities and providers, Guild Care, Alzheimer’s Society, Coastal West Sussex Mind, Crossroads, St Barnabas Hospital and Darlington Court Care Home, are all members as are St Lawrence Surgery, Offington Park Methodist Church; Worthing Library and West Sussex County Council. Two of the town’s largest employers, Worthing & Adur District Council and the Stagecoach Bus Company, are currently formulating their action plans.

‘This will have an enormous impact on people who live and work in the town,’ said Julia Johnson. ‘Making a positive change through offering staff Dementia Friends information sessions (all free and delivered by volunteers), will help reduce the stigma associated with the disease and provide a workplace culture where people can talk openly. With 1 in 9 working people caring for someone older, ill or disabled, dementia is frequently a hidden issue in the workplace.’

Over 14,000 people live with dementia in West Sussex using shops, public houses, restaurants, hairdressers, public transport, banks and theatres. It has been found, by local businesses who have encouraged their staff to have Dementia Friends sessions, that a greater knowledge and understanding of dementia better equips them for phone calls and face to face conversations. A little knowledge goes a long way, encouraging patience, promoting understand and improving customer experiences.

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