‘Give Support Not Sympathy’ to Customers With Dementia  


‘Giving support not sympathy’ to those living with dementia was the ethos of the Dementia Awareness Workshop held in the Wexford Chamber offices on Wednesday 6th April, in conjunction with Bluebird Care and the DCU Dementia Elevator Team.

Michael Corcoran of Bluebird Care said “The number of people with dementia is going to increase greatly in the coming years due to our ageing population.  There are already well in excess of 40,000 people in Ireland with Dementia, worldwide numbers are forecast to treble by 2050. Therefore, the more knowledge people in the community have about dementia and the more skilled they are in identifying the signs of dementia, the easier it will be to provide support for individuals to remain in their homes and engaged with their community. One of the fundamental principles behind homecare is promoting and facilitating independence.”

Ann-Marie Coen, Practice Development Officer for the Dementia Elevator Project, School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University is part of the DCU team who have developed a dementia awareness training module.  The thought process behind this awareness programme is to encourage all of us to be ‘Dementia Aware’ and to recognize those in our community who need support or assistance.

“The Chamber is very cognizant of the many challenges that we all face particularly as we grow older.   It is incumbent on each and every one of us to have a basic understanding of dementia so that we can offer support particularly in the Retail sector where people may need assistance choosing an item, paying for their purchases, navigating complex aisles or finding the exit.  Huge challenges for people with dementia and we need to be aware of these difficulties” said Madeleine Quirke, CEO of Wexford Chamber.

Closing the event Michael Corcoran commented, “Often as people grow older their world shrinks and very often  they feel in some way threatened or intimidated by everything around them.  Anything that we can do,  as a community, to lessen these feelings has to be good thing.  What constitutes good ‘customer service’ for people with dementia constitutes good customer service full stop .”

Consider appointing a  dementia ambassador for your own particular business, a ‘go to person’ who has the skillset and the understanding to support those in need.  For further information please contact Wexford Chamber 053 91 22226 or Michael Corcoran at Bluebird care in Wexford on 053 91 53933