Danske Bank has become the latest organisation in Northern Ireland to work towards becoming dementia friendly. The bank has been working with the Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland to roll out Dementia Friends information sessions to employees in order to help support customers with the condition.

The bank now has Dementia Friends in its branches across Northern Ireland and in its customer support teams based in Belfast. Having completed their training, the Dementia Friends are now more aware of how to communicate, relate and support customers affected by the condition.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 20,400 people in Northern Ireland with dementia. The condition can include memory loss, difficulties communicating, and problems processing information, which can make banking and managing money challenging.

Head of Branch Banking at Danske Bank, Aisling Press said: “Banking is an important part of every day life and we understand that being able to retain independence over finances is important for our customers who are living with dementia.

“We hope that with the introduction of Dementia Friends throughout our business, our customers and their families feel confident that they can look after their finances in a welcoming and understanding environment.”

 Julie Morton, Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator at Alzheimer’s Society added:

“Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to be working with Danske Bank to enable it to become more dementia friendly and create a more supportive and positive environment for its customers who are living with dementia.

“Dementia has a huge impact on the person affected and on their families. It can make visiting a bank and managing finances overwhelming, and was one of the reasons why the dementia friendly communities concept was first developed.

“There are over 350 dementia friendly communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland where local businesses are committed to support their customers and employees affected by dementia. From the taxi driver to the hairdresser and the bus company to the bank, everyone can identify things they can do to support people with dementia to continue to do the things they want to.”