Fosters Family Funeral Directors has announced its commitment to becoming officially Dementia Friendly in 2020.
With over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, the home-grown firm is partnering with Alzheimer Scotland to ensure all staff across its 18 parlours and head office become Dementia Friends. An initial Dementia Friends information session was held at Fosters Head Office with more to follow.
The initiative from Scotland’s dementia charity aims to raise awareness of the illness and reduce stigma around it, offering people the chance to learn about what it’s like to live with dementia and to turn that understanding into action.
Staff will proudly display Dementia Friends badges on their uniforms.
Terry Buchan, area manager at Fosters Family Funeral Directors, said: “Alzheimer Scotland believes that we can only make a positive difference to the lives of people living with dementia by first raising our own level of understanding – and that’s exactly what we’re doing across our business.
“We have many touchpoints with our customers, from supporting people taking out funeral plans and creating Wills, to taking calls from those looking to begin making funeral arrangements for their loved ones.
“We strive to communicate thoughtfully and sensitively with all of our customers, but we recognise customers with dementia may have different needs, particularly in the event of someone’s passing – and we are committed to ensuring we provide them with the first class care they deserve.”
Anne McWhinnie, Dementia Friends Programme Manager from Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Stepping forward to have all of staff take part in our Dementia Friends programme is a positive step towards helping to increase awareness and addressing the stigma often experienced by those living with the illness.
“Many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they are living with. Dementia Friends is helping to raise awareness of this, so that people living with the illness feel recognised, valued and understood in their community and all areas of society have a part to play to help this become a reality. This work and our ongoing Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Communities efforts, are a crucial step towards building a dementia-friendly Scotland, where nobody should face dementia alone.”
The Dementia Friends Scotland initiative aims to give people more insight into the condition and the real challenges people living with dementia face. It demonstrates the small changes that can often make a big difference to people living with dementia such as adapting how you speak, giving clear information, removing some of the challenges that can cause confusion and changing behaviour – such as simply being patient in a queue.
If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in your area call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit the website at www.alzscot.org.