Businesses can make a big difference for people with dementia by making a commitment to become more dementia friendly. It is important that organisations consider the role they can play by being supportive to staff as well as customers. This really got me thinking about how our business could adjust work practises to ensure our environment is more dementia friendly .
Employers who have a greater understanding of Dementia will provide a more supportive Customer Experience.
Training is key. There are many videos, e-learning and presentations available on-line that provide an understanding of dementia as well as business case studies – At David Phillip, we have reviewed our company values, ethos and customer journey to ensure we are supporting customers affected – all this will be embedded in employee induction.
Call centres are one of the most frustrating areas for any client but for someone living with dementia this is worse – our company offers one point of contact and extra hand holding throughout the house sale process which is much more beneficial and customer focussed.
Fortunately, our Associate Director Trudy Petrow has had full training on being a Dementia Champion and Trainer, this will enable us to recognise and support people with cognitive decline.
If you are aware that a vendor has onset dementia, it is probably better to conduct business in their own environment or home, however by completing a building audit, there are some simple things that can be done to make things easier if they need to visit your office:-
- Is there sufficient parking or a drop off area, is the entrance well lit? A welcome mat that’s a block of different colour can actually be quite unwelcoming and threatening to someone with dementia.
- Is there good signage at eye level, are glass doors clearly marked and with contrasting coloured handles that are easy to see? Something as small as a chair close to the building entrance can make all the difference as can a pair of reading glasses to use in the office.
- Is there a quiet area where someone can relax, are toilets signposted well and large enough if help is required, is the crockery easy to use?
- Has the office lots of straight lines to reduce confusion, are table edges round though and are chairs placed well apart?
- Is the website clear, and are there alternative sources of information available?
- We will be carrying the Dementia Friends logo on collateral to raise awareness.
- Complete a full audit on promotional literature, is it dementia friendly? no jargon or italics. Bold text and headings plus bullet points are key.
- Marketing material should be printed in a larger font if required
- Use more photographs than illustrations and ensure no overlay on photographs
We have re-visited our customer experience and reviewed our services – decluttering, always accompanied viewings, help with home staging and even getting keys cut can make things easier for someone living with dementia.
Lesa Brown a Director at David Phillip commented “Bramhope will be recognised as a dementia friendly community, we want people to live the life they want to live and as a local business we need to ensure that we create an environment and customer experience that supports this too ”