Developing a dementia-inclusive culture

Developing a dementia-inclusive culture

As you learn about dementia, it is also important to identify and act on opportunities to develop a dementia-inclusive culture.

Some opportunities can be formal actions, such as:

  • Identify a key contact in your organization to answer employment questions, including, workplace health and safety, employment terms, workplace accommodations, and any available employment benefits.
  • Adopt policies that provide employees clear information about how your organization supports diversity, equity, and inclusion, workplace accommodations, health and safety, and different types of employee absences (e.g., sick leave, medical appointments, compassionate care, flex days, vacation time).
  • Offer mandatory or voluntary training opportunities to share information about dementia, including warning signs, different types of dementia, how to talk to and support someone with dementia, caregivers’ experiences, and how to decrease stigma and invest in an inclusive culture. 

Dementia-inclusive policy

Other opportunities can be personal and team behaviours that decrease stigma and increase a sense of support and belonging for people impacted by dementia, such as:

  • Identify when people make jokes or comments that downplay or make fun of the impact of dementia, explain why it can be hurtful to others, and ask for them to stop.
  • Check your own assumptions about people’s abilities and needs, and speak to them about their experience and needs instead.
  • Check in on a regular basis, show compassion, and ask if there is anything that you can do, within your means and comfort levels, to be supportive.
  • Remember and respect that each person’s experience with dementia is different, and each individual may exhibit different abilities, moods, and comfort talking about their experience from day to day or even hour to hour.

Dementia-inclusive education