Dementia carer friendly workplaces
- Increased awareness and understanding of dementia.
- Dementia carers are supported to maintain a good work/life/carer balance.
- Carers do not feel alone and become self-supporting.
- Employers see increased employee satisfaction. Carers helped at this critical time for them will give their discretionary effort and colleagues witnessing this support will also be proud to work for such a caring employer.
- Valuable employees are not lost to the organisation, retaining skills/knowledge and saving on replacement time and costs.
- Many generic issues will be raised which will benefit others in the organisation.
- Consistent line management
- Compliance (Equality Act 2010)
- Open and honest
- Compassion and understanding
- Improving lives
- Working together
- Everyone counts
Carers need buddies and understanding colleagues/managers, so the model has four simple parts:
1) Identify a suitable person who is ideally pro-active and passionate about wanting to help people who are dealing with dementia. To be effective you will need a champion to drive this forward in your organisation and buy-in from the top/management definitely seals success. Your Champion must have this role as part of their objectives and be allowed the time and resources they need to deliver it.
2) Deliver Dementia Friends sessions to increase staff awareness and understanding about dementia in general. Ideally nominate a member of staff to train as a Dementia Friends Champion so they can deliver these sessions.
3) Set up a Dementia Carer Network Group. This provides a community of past and current carers who know what it means to be a dementia Carer. No longer feeling alone makes a difference to carers. Members’ privacy and sensitivity should be respected. It is important to recognise that current dementia carers may not have any spare capacity to contribute to the running of the group.
4) Create Carer Buddy volunteers who can meet up for a chat when needed. Any request by a colleague should be priorised. Face to face proved to be far more valuable than website or written information. Feedback from dementia carers has shown that they may be too overloaded to access or absorb written/online information, even if they know it will help them. At the same time they are able to learn, share and understand much through personally engaging with somebody else who has been touched by dementia.
All organisations have their own culture. We can help you to tailor our dementia carer workplace model to suit your size, geography and workforce. Feedback and reviews of your journey will help to develop the model.