What is a Dementia-friendly organisation?
Dementia-friendly organisations are businesses or other organisations (including local government and community services) that want to make changes to their operations, procedures and environment to better meet the needs of people living with dementia.
Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation requires training, education and looking at the world through a different lens.
A dementia-friendly organisation has submitted an action plan (a template is available in the Dementia-Friendly Community Toolkit) for review and approval by the dementia-friendly team. When developing an action plan, organisations must engage and consult with people living with dementia.
Once the action plan is approved by the dementia-friendly team, the organisation will receive ‘working towards dementia-friendly’ status and be listed on the community map as a dementia-friendly organisation.
Each dementia-friendly organisation is unique but will usually focus on:
- encouraging staff to become Dementia Friends
- reviewing and improving the physical environment to make it more dementia-friendly
- supporting people living with dementia to continue with paid employment
- providing volunteering opportunities for people living with dementia.
What are the benefits of being dementia-friendly?
Dementia-friendly organisations are typically:
- better at retaining engaged staff who feel pride in the organisation’s community spirit and inclusiveness, and who have access to additional and complementary professional development in becoming more dementia-friendly
- described positively by local media as good corporate citizens.
Can an aged care provider become a Dementia-Friendly Organisation?
The Dementia-Friendly Communities program, includes funding for community-based programs, supports community organisations and local businesses to work towards becoming dementia-friendly. The program has not been designed for use by the aged care sector who have as a core responsibility of their service model, the provision of support and care to people living with dementia.
Aged care providers wishing to improve their capacity to provide support and care to people living with dementia are encouraged to approach the Centre for Dementia Learning at Dementia Australia. They have a comprehensive suite of education and consultancy programs specifically designed to meet the needs of aged care providers and their workforce.
The Dementia-Friendly Communities program is keen to support good corporate citizenship within the aged care sector and encourages aged care providers to contribute to the work of their local dementia alliance. As local leaders in quality care, aged care providers have significant expertise to offer these groups, who are working towards the creation of a more inclusive community for people living with dementia and their carers.
How do I create a dementia-friendly organisation or business?
Alternatively, organisations can pay for support, consultation and practical assistance from the Centre for Dementia Learning consulting services to help develop their action plan.
The steps are:
- Read the ‘Creating Dementia-Friendly Communities Business/Organisation Toolkit’
- Become a Dementia Friend
- Invite your staff to become Dementia Friends
- Complete an action plan (a template is within the toolkit) and submit it to the dementia-friendly team for approval.
- Once your action plan is formally approved by the dementia-friendly team you will receive ‘working towards dementia-friendly’ status and be added to the community map as a recognised dementia-friendly organisation
- Begin to implement your action plan and promote your activities through local media and/or community events as appropriate
- Review your progress annually and send the dementia-friendly team an updated action plan each year.
For more information please contact the dementia-friendly team.