I was asked this question recently at an event I was speaking at and to be honest it took me off guard a bit. If a church is truly Dementia Friendly this should carry through in everything we do, and that includes how we treat our employees. Dementia is recognised as a disability and therefore The Equality Act (2010) requires employers to avoid discrimination and make reasonable adjustments to ensure people with dementia and their carers are not disadvantaged in the workplace.
This is one area that is not always recognised by employers and the report Hidden no more: Dementia and Disability, recently launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, highlights this very issue among other things.
I am neither an HR Specialist or a lawyer, so I am not going to try and tackle this issue in any detail here as each case needs to be treated uniquely in terms of the individual, the role, the size of the church etc. etc. However, I am going to highlight this as something that church leaders need to be aware of and will need to seek professional HR advice for.
The Alzheimer’s Society have produced a very good booklet: Creating a dementia friendly workplace which is downloadable at:
This booklet is a practical guide for employers to help them understand this very challenge and goes into further details including practical tips to making a dementia friendly environment, HR process, day to day management, making reasonable adjustments and where to get more help.
I cannot recommend this booklet strongly enough and believe all church leaders should read this, especially if someone on their staff team receives a dementia diagnosis.