Northampton businesses asked for their views about being ‘dementia friendly’

The university is asking how businesses in Northampton could make the town more 'dementia friendly'.
The university is asking how businesses in Northampton could make the town more 'dementia friendly'.

Northampton businesses are being asked to give their views about how they support people with dementia and their carers as part of a new university survey.

The survey – led by Kathleen Mortimer, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law, and Alison Ward Faculty of Health and Society researcher – contains 20 questions that will paint a fuller picture about local business’ knowledge and understanding of dementia law, and their duties and responsibilities as employers.

Researchers are looking to make the town more ‘dementia friendly’ – being aware of and how to act on the needs of customers affected by the condition.

There are approximately 850,000 people living with a diagnosis of dementia in the UK and that figure is set to increase to 2 million by 2025, of which 40,000 have young onset dementia and are aged under 65 years – also known as working age dementia.

In Northamptonshire, the number of people predicted to have dementia will rise from 6,935 in 2008 (of which 65 per cent are female) to 11,899 by 2025.

The university is engaged in a number of projects aimed at understanding the effects of dementia and to help the county be more dementia friendly. This includes co-running the county’s first dementia centre – UnityDEM – where people with dementia and their carers can access support at the same time.

Being a dementia friendly organisation can bring a number of benefits. It can support people with dementia and their family carers to remain an active part of their communities and workplaces. It can help develop an inclusive and empowering culture within the workplace which may help with staff retention, productivity and quality of service.

It also works towards businesses fulfilling legal requirements under the Equality Act 2010.

Organisations can already take simple steps to becoming dementia friendly. This may involve giving customers more time or having a friendly person on-hand who understands how they might be feeling. This can be achieved by accessing free dementia friends training for staff.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and the questions include:

If the organisation has provided any staff training on assisting customers with dementia and their carers

How prepared the organisation is for working with customers who have dementia and their carers

The type of dementia training would they find useful.

The survey can be completed online here.

For more information, email Alison Ward: alison.ward@northampton.ac.uk