Alzheimer’s Friendly Business Program

Whether you are a family caregiver or have a senior loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease, you have most likely experienced firsthand the challenges of going into the Minneapolis community with someone with Alzheimer’s.. The frustrations and confusion experienced is largely due to the misconceptions and lack of education about Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. In fact, based on research conducted in 2015 by Home Instead, Inc., 74% of caregivers surveyed report they and their loved one have become more isolated and feel disconnected from their local community. Of this 74% of caregivers surveyed, here are more findings:

  • 87% reported they leave the house less frequently with their loved one
  • 85% feel a reduced quality of life
  • 62% stay at home, spending less at local businesses
  • 55% say staying home is simply easier

Amongst the fears these caregivers reported are:

  • Businesses can be a busy and confusing place for their loved one
  • Their loved one might become confused, anxious or disruptive
  • Concerns their loved one would get lost

These statistics are alarming and concerning! Home Instead Senior Care is committed to change this with their public education program Alzheimer’s Friendly Business.

The Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program starts with a 30-minute training program provided by our own Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis trainers. This program is designed to help local business’ employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to ensure customers with Alzheimer’s or dementia are treated with compassion and respect. Home Instead’s training will educate the local business staff in these main areas:

  • Becoming aware of behaviors commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Being understanding of the challenges an individual with Alzheimer’s may have
  • Assisting with interactions

Once the employees have been trained, the establishment will receive a certification, which is valid for 2 years, reflecting the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation and provide window stickers and other materials to be used for display. Watch this short video to see a training session with our friends at Liberty Oxygen and Medical Equipment in action:

As a caregiver, here are some signs to look for that indicate a business may be easier to navigate for your loved one with a dementia illness such as Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms are helpful if your loved one needs to use the restroom and the caregiver is the opposite gender
  • Restaurants that have secluded rooms or sections available help to prevent agitation for those with Alzheimer’s
  • Plan to visit a business during their down times so you won’t have to wait in line
  • Frequent businesses where the staff is known to be polite, honest and patient
  • Simple processes, procedures or choices will help an individual with dementia illness

Take a moment to watch this touching video on how local businesses help Karen Garner’s family cope with her husband’s young-onset Alzheimer’s:

Although misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease persist, the broader education efforts are helping more people understand what it means to have Alzheimer’s or other dementia illnesses. Encourage the local businesses you frequent, from your favorite restaurant to your local grocery store to the neighborhood bank, to inquire about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program. Together we can help make the community establishments a safer, more friendly place for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia to visit. Contact Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis today to sign-up for your training!

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