Why being a dementia-friendly organisation matters
We want to make a real difference for our customers living with dementia, helping more of them affected by the condition to remain independent and live in their own homes for longer: we want them to be able to live well with dementia.
Our research indicates that there are likely to be more than 1,000 older people living with dementia among our customers in Guinness homes or receiving care services. We estimate that one third of these are living in our general needs housing.
Read the report: Becoming a dementia-friendly organisation
What did the research tell us?
During the research phase, we surveyed over 200 of our staff, interviewed nearly 20 senior managers, and ran a focus group for customers. They told us that we could do more to be Dementia-Friendly, by providing information and support to staff and customers, making our services more flexible to respond to customers living with dementia and their carers, and adapt the delivery of maintenance and aids.
Customers particularly thought that we should prioritise the telecare and assistive technology services we provide, tailoring our maintenance service and improving staff awareness and information provision.
How we’ve responded to support people living with dementia
Since our initial research, we’ve taken several practical steps to become a Dementia-Friendly organisation. Tailoring our services and creating Dementia-Friendly environments is now part of our day-to-day approach. We’re proud to:
- have invested in creating Dementia-Friendly environments for both specialist and general needs housing, focusing on small changes to the way in which buildings are designed to make a real difference to the lives of customers. We have improved aids, adaptations and assistive technology.
- have partnered with the LGBT Foundation on the Bring Dementia Out project, to better understand and address the challenges faced by LGBT people living with dementia, ensure their voices are heard, their needs are met and ultimately improve their lives.
- have initiated dementia support networks, which have connected people to share information, start conversations and support one another.
- regularly contribute to external research and reports, such as the recent APPG Inquiries into dementia: ‘Hidden No More’ in June 2019 and ‘Housing for people with dementia – are we ready?, February 2021′.
- continually fundraise and support dementia charities– working with local services, health/care providers and dementia groups to support our customers and their local communities. We provide valuable information and support about living with dementia.
- say we were a finalist in the prestigious Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Awards, in the ‘Large Organisation of the Year’ category, in October 2019.
- have trained 1,550 ‘Dementia Friends’ and 11 champions amongst Guinness staff to champion the best way to deliver supportive care. We continue to use the Dementia Friends programme to spread awareness and change people’s perceptions of dementia.
- have developed a flagging system so we are always aware of which of our customers are living with dementia or require further information about it. This means we can deliver the right service to them, every time.
- say we will continue to train our customer-facing staff through detailed induction programmes and ongoing updates, so they know how to deliver quality supportive care.
- advocate the Dementia Friends programme, an initiative set up by the Alzheimer’s Society to change people’s perceptions of dementia by focusing on taking understanding and turning it into action. From telling friends about the programme to visiting someone with dementia, every action counts.
More information about our work to become Dementia-Friendly:
- Our 2015 report shows why becoming a Dementia-Friendly organisation matters to us, and where our journey began.
- Our 2018 Independent Evaluation of The Guinness Partnership’s Dementia Project illustrates the evolution of our pledges and marks the point where we started our evaluation of the housing and dementia project.
- Dementia and Guinness
- Our 2019/20 Annual Report highlights our recent achievements.
- Our design guide: Creating a dementia-friendly environment
Other support available:
A number of other organisations offer resources and advice about living with dementia: