By 2021, more than one million people in the UK will be living with dementia.
As a utility company, we can’t take the dementia away, but we can significantly reduce some of the associated natural worries and fears.
Cadent recognised some time ago that, with a little effort and empathy, we can have a huge impact on helping people live
We formed a partnership with Alzheimer’s Society
and are on a journey to become a Dementia Friendly Utility
. I’ll be speaking about this at the FT Dementia Summit today
Utility companies have an essential role; we provide a service in people’s homes, which means we meet or talk to many thousands of people every day of the year. There’s every chance that the next door we knock on, or the next call we take, is a customer in a vulnerable situation.
Businesses like ours need to have the right policies, procedures and practices in place to support both our customers and our employees with regards to dementia.
All Cadent staff who interact with customers – whether an engineer in the home, or a representative on the phone or on digital channels – will receive the correct level of dementia awareness for their role. Eighty-four per cent of our workforce has attended Dementia Friends
information sessions and we continue to provide opportunities to capture the remainder.
We will provide our colleagues with the tools to manage situations which may be challenging. If we are supporting someone living with dementia, or their loved ones, we want to be able to raise their awareness of the help that’s available, or to signpost appropriate safeguarding services.
Practically we can help too. We already fit, for free, safety devices (locking cooker valves)
that prevent gas being left on unintentionally and we are bringing our industry together – later this year – to innovative collaboratively on new services or products that keep people safe in their homes.
And I’m proud that Cadent is leading a cross-utility working group – including energy, water and communications industry members, as well as National Trading Standards – to respond to the important societal issue of people living with dementia falling victim to scams.
At the FT Dementia Summit, I’ll be joined by Nicola Johnson from E.ON
in talking about how business is ‘taking on dementia’. Looking forward to this discussion and to making new contacts as we develop this important industry-wide approach to supporting our customers.
Chief Financial Officer