When a person with dementia is living at home they will undoubtedly come into contact with a tradesperson and have work undertaken. This might be for repair, maintenance (e.g. annual gas safety check, boiler service etc.) or for adaptation or alteration and depending on the situation this can become an ongoing process. People living with dementia and their carers have to engage with a tradesperson and as the number of people living with dementia in their own home has increased [and continues to increase] then the number of organisations and trades services engaging with people with dementia will also increase.
The residential sector has no or little regulation (except gas and electric), no standards of customer service (this varies greatly), no policing of health and safety and importantly, no support for people with dementia.
In addition to this:
- Carers cannot find a tradesperson who has knowledge and understanding of dementia.
- Most organisations (construction/utility/retail) do not understand the needs of people with dementia/carers and do not accommodate them.
- Most companies dealing with emergency situations (e.g. providing home emergency cover, utility companies etc.) are unlikely to be aware of their customers with dementia
- There is no code of conduct that is dementia specific for trades.
- There are no teaching opportunities for students in the construction industry to be aware of dementia.
- Anecdotal evidence from user groups provides evidence as to why the current situation needs to change.
The CARE AWARE® Solution
We have created a whole system solution to the gaps that clearly exist in the education and training of apprentices and qualified trades people.
Our aims are to:
- Improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
- Create a system that supports and protects people with dementia, and their carers, when dealing with different tradespeople, utility companies and retail organisations.
- Create a system that supports and protects the tradesperson.
- Support trade businesses to become ‘mature’ in how they practice and engage people with dementia and their carers.
This will be achieved through the following objectives:
- Putting into practice the CARE AWARE Toolkit®
- Develop bespoke Maturity Models for interested trade organisations
- Create a national and international support network of made up of charities, third sector and private businesses
Our CARE AWARE Toolkit® is the result of our research and is made up of 4 distinct parts:
- An on-line education and training course
- A code of practice and a code of conduct
- A process for businesses and tradespeople to follow
- Identity card and registration.