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An initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging

Businesses

by | Jun 4, 2019

Attending to customers with dementia relies on the basic tenants of customer service: be respectful, be patient, and listen.  While using more specialized communication techniques can enhance the interaction, adults with dementia are ultimately people who wish to be treated with dignity.

Many care partners of people with dementia continue to work while providing care for their loved one.  Businesses that employ care partners should familiarize themselves with legal obligations and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines. Allowing flexible schedules and work conditions such as adjustable hours, telecommuting, or reduced hours can support employees and promote a healthier work environment.

Dementia Friendly Business Checklist

Dementia Friendly America Resources

Dementia Friendly America Business Resources

Dementia Friendly America- Business Training

Dementia Friendly America- Businesses and Organizations, Information for Starting a Local Initiative

DF America Sector Guide- Businesses

General Business Resources

Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance

City of Boston- Dementia Friendly Business Checklist

Pharmacy

Pharmacists working with a client confused about their medication, not uncommon for adults with dementia, may require alternative methods in organizing prescriptions such as filling a daily pill sorter.  If the client struggles with communication or the financial transaction to pay for their order, consider contacting a relative or care provider for assistance.

Dementia Friendly America Pharmacy Sector Video

Click here for more information about healthcare services.

Restaurants

The loud, busy atmosphere of a restaurant may overwhelm a person with dementia leading to discomfort or anxiety.  Seating the dining party in a quiet location may lessen these feelings. The individual may be confused by the extensive menu or become frustrated when they cannot recall their intended order.  Instead of arguing with a confused adult, be patient, avoid arguing, and ask simple questions.

Dementia Friendly Restaurant Checklist

Dementia Friendly America Restaurant Sector Video

Read about the Purple Table Reservations movement that offers special dining accommodations for people with dementia or other cognitive challenges.

Retail

When approaching an adult with cognitive impairment in a store, offer excellent customer service: smile, and use a calm voice.  The adult may misplace items or appear disoriented. Assist them or offer to call a friend or family member to address any issues that may arise.

Dementia Friendly America Retail Sector Video

Working Caregivers

AARP How Employers can Support Working Caregivers

AARP Public Policy Institute- Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission- Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission- Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities

The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Caregivers

Respect a Caregiver’s Time- Employer Resource Guide

Wisconsin Department of Health Services- DF Employers Toolkit

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