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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