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Supporting your staff affected by dementia

With an ageing population, dementia is affecting more people in the workplace now than ever before, and by 2025 one million people will be living with dementia.

  • 670,000 people are now caring for a loved one with dementia. Many of these family carers are also looking after a child, as well as the person with dementia, whilst coping with the stresses of work and everyday life
  • Over 70,800 people are living with young onset dementia (where symptoms develop under the age of 65) with 18% continuing to work after a diagnosis
  • 21% of carers give up or reduce their hours
  • Caring for someone with dementia costs English businesses £1.6 billion a year
  • 70% of carers have felt isolated in the workplace

Workplaces are well-placed to provide an anchor of support, giving structure and stability when other aspects of daily life can be unpredictable and fragmented.

At Dementia UK, we can work collaboratively with you to make a difference for employees and customers:

Dementia UK awareness sessions are presented by a specialist Admiral Nurse and aim to raise awareness of:

  • dementia and its symptoms
  • its impact on families and the workplace
  • the support Dementia UK offers
  • how to support friends, family and colleagues facing dementia
  • the importance of wellbeing to reduce risks of developing dementia
  • supporting staff directly via our national Helpline

These sessions are hosted in your office, often in a ‘lunch and learn’ format, and can be tailored depending on the audience and its size.

Our awareness sessions are usually attended by staff who have a connection to the cause; they may be caring for a loved one, have concerns about a friend, relative or colleague, or are interested in the support available.

Staff will have an opportunity to ask questions, to share their own concerns or experiences, as well as receive a reminder that they are not alone.

The presentation was very helpful in explaining to us what dementia is, and raising awareness on how each of us can take practical steps in our daily lives to help prevent the onset of dementia. Importantly, the speaker outlined how we can support our colleagues if we start to see some changes in their behaviour. Having previously cared for a loved one with the disease, the work and challenges involved cannot be underestimated, and talks like this are critical to understanding prevention, and anticipating the future.

– Employee at Fieldfisher

Dementia UK’s one-to-one sessions offer a confidential opportunity for staff to speak with a specialist Admiral Nurse in working hours.

For many people, trying to balance work with other stresses, worries and responsibilities can be incredibly difficult.

These sessions are valuable for staff who have a caring responsibility, are concerned about a loved one or perhaps have concerns about their own health and wellbeing.

Our one-to-one sessions will provide forty-five minutes of tailored support, including:

  • practical tips and advice for caring for a loved one with dementia
  • a better understanding of dementia and its symptoms
  • emotional support to cope with feelings of loss, grief or guilt
  • advice on how to maintain a good work-life balance
  • information around finances, benefits and legal matters

These sessions could be incorporated into your company’s health and wellbeing programme, to ensure staff are getting the specialist support they need to help them cope in the workplace.

I just wanted to offer a heartfelt thanks for today’s session. I am so grateful for the advice and kind words. The nurse provided clarity on a topic which has consumed me and left me puzzled for so long, and I truly can see my whole families’ day to day life improving upon the strength and guidance she has provided. This may all sound rather dramatic, but words can’t express the struggle it has been so far, and today it felt like there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

– Employee at Computacenter

Dementia is the biggest health and social issue today, impacting the lives and wellbeing of around 944,000 people with a diagnosis, as well as their families and friends.

At Dementia UK we recognise that there usually isn’t a one size fits all approach to supporting carers and people with dementia in the workplace. There can often be complexity and uncertainty in knowing how to navigate issues that dementia may bring to the working environment.

We understand there is often a need for a flexible approach and we will work with you to create the right working environment to suit your staff and workplace. Our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses can help you overcome organisational challenges and provide life-changing support for employees and their families.

We can offer bespoke, support including:

  • direct access to our national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline
  • advice to your HR department on developing support processes for staff caring for a loved one with dementia
  • guidance sessions for managers to ensure they know how to support their direct reports and teams
  • working alongside your carers network and other employee-led groups
  • feedback on existing wellbeing initiatives
  • planning for the future increases in people living with dementia

For example, Dementia UK is working in partnership with CABA (Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association) to ensure that past and present members of the institute of Chartered Accountant community and their families have direct access to dementia specialist support when they need it. CABA is able to make direct referrals to our free Dementia Helpline, so that families can speak to an Admiral Nurse who has the time to listen and the knowledge to solve problems. This complements the other range of support, resources and information which CABA offers, aiming to promote wellbeing.

At CABA, we understand that life can be complicated and all sorts of different challenges can have an impact on both people’s personal and working lives. We know that dementia is one of these growing challenges in society. We have been working with Dementia UK since 2016 to ensure that members of the chartered accountant community and their families have direct access to the expert support of Admiral Nurses over the phone.

– Kelly Feehan, Service Director, CABA.