Dementia Friendly Hospitality - let's make a difference
This week is Dementia Action Week and action is never more needed in venues like pubs where people come together! If every pub company and family brewer in the UK encouraged 50 of their people to be trained as Dementia Friends, there would be over 2,000 more people who understand the complexities of people living with dementia, many of whom are customers. If individual, independent pubs also got on board we'd see an even greater impact.
Pubs are places to feel welcome and safe and for those affected by dementia, they should feel the same when visiting. It really is a simple thing to do, costs you no money other than time and will make an enormous difference to your customers, teams and businesses.
Here’s some simple examples of what the training can achieve:
Basic detail is complex: Menu confusion: A dementia sufferer may find a menu confusing – recommend something simple for them like a classic favourite – fish and chips.
Memory recall: Remember when you bring the food they might not remember what they’ve ordered but you will and can pass it to them reminding them what it is.
Simple questions become difficult: Don’t ask if they want sauce – that’s too complex: is sauce gravy, what type did you mean, can’t remember what sauce I like? – it’s much better to offer the sauce that would go with the dish e.g. shall I bring some tomato sauce for you?
Can no longer read: A dementia sufferer may have forgotten how to read, help them by suggesting a favourite classic dish.
Understanding signage: If they want the loo they won’t understand a door that has a moustache or Stiletto shoe on, clearly sign your toilets ladies and men or guide them to the right one.
Trip hazards impact more: Often dementia sufferers can’t see 3D so they don’t see edges like steps or floor mats or distances very well and can easily trip or stumble – help them by guiding if required.
What they do remember: Like every customer - A friendly and kind person.
So, making that step to become a dementia friendly hospitality business is firstly getting your teams to become Dementia Friends - you will reap enormous rewards for your customers and your teams – it’s simple really.