Supporting customers with dementia

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It’s probably fair to say that we all know someone either living with dementia or supporting a relative living with dementia.  Over 48,000 people in Ireland are now said to be living with a diagnosis of dementia. Given our aging population this figure is only set to grow.  Next year alone, it is predicted that 4,000 people will develop dementia.  That’s 11 people every day.  
Some of these people may turn out to be your customers.  That’s why it’s important to know more about the disease and how to support those customers living with dementia. 

This is the thrust of the work of Dementia Elevator ( a national education and empowerment programme to help individuals, health services and public-facing community services support and engage appropriately with people with dementia.

Funded by the HSE and The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Dementia Elevator team at Dublin City University has developed free, online dementia awareness training for front line staff working in the financial services sector. The training highlights some of the challenges faced by customers with dementia and their families when using financial services, and explores some skills and strategies that staff can use to support the customer in these situations.




The programme aims to be interactive and engaging and uses filmed scenarios based in a financial services setting. Content includes:

  • an overview of dementia and the impact of stigma
  • good communication skills
  • what to do when there is uncertainty about a customer’s decision-making ability
  • the question of financial abuse
  • working with concerned relatives
  • creating dementia friendly physical environments. 

It also incorporates a quiz, exercises and an online forum. A certificate of completion is available to those who complete the programme.  A facilitator’s resource pack is being developed for group delivery of the training. 
The training is freely accessible from the Dementia Elevator website.
To find out more about dementia awareness training for financial services,  contact Ann-Marie Coen, Practice Development Officer with Dementia Elevator at [email protected]  or call 01 700 6190.