Dementia in the workplace: are employers supporting employees living with dementia?

Valerie Egdell*, Mandy Cook, Jill Stavert, Louise Ritchie, Debbie Tolson, Michael Danson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives
As working lives extend and there is better recognition of early-onset dementias, employers need to consider dementia as a workplace concern. With suitable support, people living with dementia can continue employment – although this is not appropriate for all. The requirement for employers to support employees living with dementia has human rights and legal foundations. This paper considers whether employers consider dementia as a workplace concern; and the policies and/or practices available to support employees living with dementia. Thus, it develops understanding of whether employers are meeting their human rights/legislative obligations. 
Method
A sequential mixed-methods approach was employed, with data collection undertaken in Scotland (United Kingdom). An online survey was sent to employers across Scotland, with 331 participating. 30 employer interviews were conducted, with the survey results informing the interview approach. 
Results
The survey and interview data were analyzed separately and then combined and presented thematically. The themes identified were 1) Dementia as a workplace concern 2) Support for employees living with dementia and 3) Employer policy development and awareness raising. The findings demonstrate dementia awareness, but this knowledge is not applied to employment situations. There was little evidence suggesting that the rights of employees living with dementia are consistently upheld.
Conclusion
This research sends out strong messages about the rights and legal position of person living with dementia which cannot be ignored. The continuing potential of employees living with dementia and their legal rights are not consistently recognized. This highlights the need for robust training interventions for employers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAging & Mental Health
Early online date24 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Sep 2019

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Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Workplace
  • Employers
  • Human rights
  • Employment legislation

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