September is World Alzheimer’s Month, with World Alzheimer’s Day being on the 21st. Over 850,000 people in the UK suffer from some form of dementia, and World Alzheimer’s Month is a time of the year when the Alzheimer’s Society aims to boost public awareness of this serious medical condition.
Alongside raising public awareness, this is also a time when dementia awareness for employers is pushed to the fore. In many cases, it is an employer that will likely see the initial symptoms of dementia in one of its employees. Simply due to the close working relationships that team members have with each other, and the constant communication between them. For people who have minimal social interactions in their home life, such as those who live alone, then their work colleagues will be the people they have the most interaction with, and the most likely people to notice the onset of dementia. World Alzheimer’s Day helps by educating people about dementia. What it is caused by, how it begins, and what symptoms to look for.
Dealing with Dementia Sufferers
Dealing with clients or customers with dementia is a situation that certain companies, such as those that operate within the retail sector, can often face. These are customers that will likely exhibit challenging behaviour patterns, making them difficult to deal with.
One of the key aspects of raising dementia awareness for employers is promoting the idea that equipping customer-facing staff through suitable health and safety online courses with the skills they need to manage clients suffering from dementia, will enable them to interact more effectively.
For other sectors, such as the care industry, employees may regularly need to interact with dementia sufferers as part of their day to day duties. And once again, in this case, ensuring that staff have the skills and knowledge required to care for those suffering from dementia simply makes sense.
Towards a Dementia Aware Workforce
Despite being a common medical condition, outside of World Alzheimer’s Day, it is one which often remains misunderstood. In order to work with dementia sufferers, dementia awareness for employers and employees should include adequate team training.
At AvantGarde, we have created a dementia awareness course, that acts as a primer on dealing with clients, customers or other individuals that may be encountered whilst carrying out a job role.
The course aims to teach people about the different types of dementia, and its most common symptoms. Attendees will learn how dementia can affect individual people quite differently and can result in a wide range of non-standard behaviours.
Our health and safety online courses teache how to recognize dementia sufferers, and most importantly, how to interact with them effectively.
World Alzheimer’s Day may primarily be a time of the year that the general public is made more aware of the seriousness of dementia. Yet it is also a time of year that dementia awareness for employers can be promoted, towards creating a better informed, more effective workforce for dealing with dementia sufferers.