Westpac has become New Zealand’s first dementia-friendly bank, earning the Alzheimers New Zealand Dementia-Friendly Award.
The award recognises organisations that take significant steps to improve access to services for those with dementia.
To achieve the award and dementia-friendly status, organisations must meet selected criteria across seven standards that form the Dementia-Friendly Recognition Programme.
Westpac CEO David McLean says creating a truly dementia-friendly environment goes beyond providing products and services that make it easier for people with dementia to manage their affairs.
“Even something like simplifying a branch’s layout or dcor can make a real difference to someone with dementia.”
Westpac has worked hard with the support of various experts in dementia to develop a nationwide dementia-friendly programme which included educating all employees on the signs and ways to help people with dementia. These are available for any other businesses to make use of, on Westpac’s website.
Alzheimers NZ Chief Executive, Catherine Hall, celebrates Westpac’s success, noting their achievement illustrates the programme can work in any business environment.
“With Bupa Fergusson Retirement Village and Westpac achieving the Dementia-Friendly Award, we show others that programme standards can be implemented across diverse business contexts.
“Those affected by dementia are living longer with increasing independence, with figures set to almost triple to 170,000 by 2050. Today’s programme launch encourages collective commitment from organisations that provides practical support to those affected.
“We cannot ignore this growing population in our communities, and praise organisations who are part of our journey towards a dementia-friendly New Zealand.”
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