Nearly one in ten (8%) of UK companies have already encountered employees with dementia, new research has revealed.
The study, from employee health risk specialist PMI Health Group, found that 90% of UK HR professionals believe dementia should represent a concern for business and 74% agree with the Alzheimer’s Society’s recent calls for every company in the UK to have a dementia policy.
“The number of people with dementia is expected to increase to one million by 2021 and an ageing workforce means employees may be affected as both sufferers and carers,” said Mike Blake, Director at PMI Health Group. “It is heartening to see from our survey that employers are now considering the need to provide education on the condition and to support staff who are either suffering from the condition or caring for someone with the condition.”
The research also revealed that HR professionals are being increasingly affected by the issue. 29% have had to give staff time off to look after relatives with dementia and 69% now offer flexible working to staff who are caring for elderly relatives.
Eldercare is also becoming more of a priority for HR departments and 69% of HR professionals think employers have a responsibility to offer eldercare benefits to staff. These include access to helplines and specialists who can advise on, and manage, the needs of elderly relatives.