World Alzheimer’s Month: What employers can do to support workers The tone

This year’s World Alzheimer’s Day takes place on September 21st and is part of World Alzheimer’s Month this September. World Alzheimer’s Day is a global opportunity to raise awareness about dementia, the signs and symptoms of dementia, and how to help those who are directly or indirectly affected. It is important for employers to understand how they can support employees who may have been diagnosed with dementia or who are caring for a friend or relative with dementia.

Support employees with dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society announced that more than 42,000 people are living with childhood dementia who are diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65. Many of these people continue to work after receiving their diagnosis, but may experience a variety of symptoms, such as problems with movement, coordination, or balance, and memory loss.

People with childhood dementia may need to make significant adjustments to live with their long-term condition. If they choose to continue working, employers should consider how they can offer support and reasonable adjustments to make their working life easier.

Employers might consider offering more flexible working arrangements to people with symptoms, such as B. Working from home and more flexible hours so workers can work around their symptoms when they flare up or when they are having trouble getting to work. Employers could also set up a support network to give the affected colleague someone to talk to about their illness if they wish, be it another colleague or a supervisor. Such networks can open up dialogue about dementia in the workplace and allow workers to explain the support they would like to receive or to tell their employer how they can best help in the workplace.

If the employee decides that he cannot or does not want to continue working, the employer must understand this. Employers can often help employees leave their position in a dignified manner and may be able to offer advice on where that employee can find support and guidance for their condition outside of the workplace.

How employers can support those caring for others with dementia

Employees who do not have dementia themselves can still care for a friend or relative who has dementia. Duty of care creates additional stress for the individual that can sometimes creep into an employee’s work life. Caring for someone with dementia can be rewarding, but it also brings challenges. For employees with care responsibilities outside of work, this can cause personal and financial stress, and those with care responsibilities often try to balance these additional responsibilities with their work and personal lives.

The Equal Opportunities Act provides some protection for employees who are associated with another disabled person, not just for those employees who are themselves disabled. This can cover care workers, so employers may need to support those with care responsibilities, for example by allowing these workers flexible working hours to accommodate their additional duties without sacrificing their work commitments.

Communication with employees is also important. This helps ensure that employers are aware of employees who are caregivers and know where to turn additional support. It also means that employers are more likely to understand the additional responsibilities of their employees and the impact these can have.

Employers could also consider allowing employees with caring responsibilities to take additional leave that does not affect their annual leave entitlement.

Given the potential for discrimination through representative actions, employers should consider reviewing their workplace policies to ensure they are adequately supporting workers with caring responsibilities. Updating these policies also makes employers more likely to retain employees who have these additional off-the-job responsibilities.

World Alzheimer’s Month is a great opportunity for employers to consider conducting workshops and training for all employees to provide an opportunity for everyone to learn about care responsibilities and dementia and its symptoms. These workshops will open up the conversation about dementia and caring responsibilities, giving staff the opportunity to be open about their own circumstances and to gain an understanding of the circumstances of others.

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