Colleagues may have noticed in our offices signage stating ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’. Something seen across a number of organisations and businesses including on emergency service vehicles.  So what does it mean? Does it mean that staff in all organisations/employers who say they are ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ are competent to sensitively deal with service users with Dementia or their Carers or family members?  If it’s a NO then unfortunately its just another fancy badge to show off to the world.
So what about Touchstone? About 5 years ago we were accredited as an organisation that is ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’.  From the outset we knew this entailed building up the knowledge and capacity of staff.  As ever with these things SMT commissioned Ripaljeet Touchstone’s Dementia lead to develop an action plan which included briefing staff and establishing a Dementia Champions group covering all Touchstone sites.  Since then I have noticed a number of changes from colleagues talking more about Dementia to simple changes to signage in offices.  More still needs to be done but I would definitely say we have been ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ and will continue to do so. So more than just a badge.
Arfan Hanif, Operations Director, Touchstone