A third of businesses fail to offer support for dementia sufferers

Small businesses need to do more to support employees who suffer from dementia, according to a new study.

One in three British workers (33 per cent) say their employer fails to offer any additional help or support for dementia sufferers, a new study reveals.

The research was conducted among 1,197 adults, aged 18-64, who are currently in full or part-time employment in Great Britain. The interviewed sample was weighted to represent the adult population of Great Britain.

The research from PMI Health Group, states 7 per cent of employees say they either have, or work alongside someone who suffers from dementia. More than half (54 per cent) of these workers, however, say they received no education or training on the condition from their employer.

The number of people developing dementia is increasing year-on-year and although it is commonly associated with old age, there are currently more than 40,000 people in the UK under 65 suffering from the condition, according to Mike Blake, director at PMI Health Group.

Blake thinks that employees can be affected as both sufferers and carers but companies can make a difference by introducing clear policies on how they can provide support and improve staff awareness.

He continues, ‘By establishing an inclusive, dementia-friendly, working environment, companies can give carers and employees with dementia the opportunity to continue playing an active and important role in the workplace. Furthermore, those diagnosed with the condition would be more likely to report it to their employer and seek support.

‘Measures can include early intervention from occupational health professionals and the inclusion of information about dementia, and local support services, in staff newsletters and noticeboards.’

Further reading on mental health in the office

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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