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Best Practice in Care September Feature – How to become dementia-friendly

Written by Ilsa Bird, Sector Support Coordinator

Dementia Action Week is 16-22 September. This month, we want to encourage staff and organisations to become more dementia-friendly. Being dementia-friendly is about increasing your knowledge of dementia and creating supportive environments for people living with dementia and those that care for them.

The Australian ageing population is growing and therefore the incidence of dementia is increasing. In the Northern Sydney Region, it is estimated that three in 10 people over the age of 85 and one in 10 people over the age of 65 have dementia.  It is important that frontline workers and service providers are prepared to meet the specific needs of people living with dementia.

Here are two ways that frontline staff and organisations can get involved:

Become a Dementia Friend

The Dementia Friends program is an initiative from Dementia Australia that encourages individuals to increase their knowledge and understanding of dementia. The online course is only 15 minutes and shares the stories of people living with dementia in the community. You can join over 20,000 Australians who have signed up to become Dementia Friends. By learning more about dementia, individuals can improve their communication and customer service skills. Sign up here and receive a certificate and a badge upon completion.

Become a Dementia-Friendly Organisation

Dementia-Friendly Organisations are businesses that are committed to supporting people living with dementia. Actions towards becoming dementia-friendly may include staff education, modifying physical environments and providing opportunities for continued employment and volunteering for people living with dementia. Becoming a Dementia Friendly Organisation means that service providers are better equipped to meet the needs of staff, volunteers and clients. This improves customer experience and provides a point of difference as a service provider. For more information, download the Business Toolkit here.