The risk for dementia increases with age; therefore, with an aging workforce, failure to accommodate the needs of this large group of affected individuals could affect the productivity and profitability of Canadian businesses.
How would you respond?
Naresh is a long-standing employee. He has been uncharacteristically abrupt with customers and co-workers several times over the last couple of months. Normally very reliable, he has begun to miss important deadlines. The quality of his work has begun to slip.
There may be a number of underlying reasons for this change in behaviour. One possibility is dementia.
An employee with dementia may exhibit one or more of these signs:
- Difficulty with routine tasks
- Repeatedly asking the same questions
- Getting lost or confused in familiar environments
- Displaying poor or decreased judgement
- Unable to follow directions
- Showing changes in mood, behaviour and personality
- Difficulty with abstract thinking
- Displaying loss of initiative
The first step, to address dementia in the workplace, is to address this stigma. Workers with dementia may be stigmatized as inferior, inadequate or to be shunned by their coworkers and/or costumers. This type of working environment discourages workers with dementia to seek help both medically and in the workplace and will therefore cause them to be silent. Building awareness, through education, can break down these barriers and create a platform for knowledge, understanding and conversation.
Last Updated: 11/08/2017