Dementia Friends Champions: Ask your DFO

Ask your RSOEach month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Hannah Piekarski, DFO for London and the South, answers this month’s question:

Question: Dear DFO, 
I am soon delivering an information session to a business audience.
I understand how important it is not to alter the Dementia Friends messaging but was hoping to slightly adapt my session in order to make it more meaningful and effective for my business audience.  Is there any way I can adapt the session for this purpose? 

Anonymous Champion

Answer: Dear Champion,

Thank you for inquiring about this; you are absolutely correct about their being some very clear messages in the standard information session which we must avoid changing. However you can adapt the session slightly to make it more relevant for this particular audience. You can get creative with how you engage the people you will be presenting to. Below, we have given some suggestions for small ways you can slightly adapt parts of an Information Session for businesses.

Actions businesses could take
At the end of an Information Session, when talking about dementia-friendly actions, you could provide some business-specific actions as examples. Below are some actions taken by other businesses that you could share:
• A till operator said they would be more patient when serving someone
• A journalist committed to changing her language – saying ‘living with dementia’ rather than ‘dementia sufferer’
• A pharmacist said he would keep the stock in their shops in the same place
• An optician said she would read the booklet: How to help people with dementia – A customer facing guide
• A banker said he would spread the word by encouraging his colleagues or other local businesses to become Dementia Friends
• A Chamber of Commerce said they would start a local Dementia Action Alliance
Tailored ‘Who’s right?’ statements for different sectors

If you choose to deliver the ‘Who’s right?’ activity as part of your sessions, you could incorporate some of the statements that we have tailored to different sectors:
• you are able to administer your own medication correctly
• you are able to pay for something at the pharmacy using correct change
• you can fill out and complete a prescription form
• you are able to withdraw cash from an ATM using your card
• you are able to independently pay a household bill
• you can complete a written application form
• you are able to make a purchase at a shop using a chip and pin machine
• you are able to make a trip, independently, to and from your local town centre

I hope this has been helpful and you will be able to use some of these ideas in your upcoming Session.

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