Guinness became a dementia-friendly organisation to help people lead more independent and fulfilling lives. We now have over 1,550 Dementia Friends and 11 Dementia Champions amongst Guinness employees, to champion the best way to deliver supportive care.
Becoming a Dementia Friend is quick and easy, and it has a real impact. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment – it could be something as simple as being patient with someone holding up a queue because you’ve learned to spot that they may have dementia.
“I became a Dementia Friend 5 years ago and now champion the initiative by running awareness sessions within Guinness and locally. I loved how simple and transformable it can be”
- Wendy Wells, Head of Policy and Business Implementation at Guinness Care
What is a Dementia Friend?
A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help make a positive difference to others in their community. By becoming more aware of the issues that affect people living with dementia, we can take practical steps – big and small – to support others.
How we incorporate Dementia Friends into our training
Being a dementia-friendly organisation begins with our people. Our colleagues have access to a range of learning options, including:
- regular Dementia Friends awareness sessions.
- our own bespoke eLearning module.
- a minimum of three hours dementia training every three years.
- feedback from ongoing Quality Assurance ‘spot checks’.
With at least three hours’ training relevant to roles, our staff develop the skills and knowledge needed to deliver appropriate physical and sensory responses to dementia. Using tools such as the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘this is me’ leaflets, we see every customer as an individual, placing them at the centre of our care and tailoring services to meet their needs on a one-to-one basis.
Our colleagues also connect with local communities, signposting the local services and support networks that are available for our customers.
Meaningful and inclusive activities, such as seated dances and reminiscence sessions, help to combat loneliness.
A new ‘food and activities board’ created by staff uses symbols instead of text, making it easier for customers with dementia to communicate their choices.
Why you should become a Dementia Friend
Anyone can become a Dementia Friend! The knowledge you gain from the Dementia Friends session can help with understanding how everyday actions can impact others – from being more patient in a shop queue to showing someone how to do a task they may have forgotten how to do.
We are a dementia-friendly organisation and we want our customers to live well and keep their independence for as long as possible.
We have more than 1,000 customers living with dementia in our homes or receiving our care services, therefore, our teams becoming Dementia Friends can help with identifying customers who may be affected, and they might even discover new ways in which they can continue to provide high quality care and support.
Did you know…?
- Dementia Friends – an Alzheimer’s Society programme, is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia!
- A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help their community by raising awareness and understanding.
- Anyone can become a Dementia Friend! All you have to do is go to the Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Friends website and sign up.