St George Bank has taken the initiative to make its branches more dementia friendly.
Alzheimer’s Australia chief executive Maree McCabe said dementia affected more than 400,000 Australians.
“While there is no cure on the horizon, there are a number of strategies that can be put in place to minimise the impact, for the person with dementia, their carers, family and the community.”
St George Bank has now made several changes to become more dementia friendly. Other banks have also adopted a dementia-friendly banking plan including Westpac, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne.
St George Retail Bank general manager Ross Miller said they had over 900,000 customers over the age 50.
“Of this population, approximately 13 per cent (or 123,000 customers) may have some form of dementia – a staggering number that can not be ignored,” he said.
“Our pilot program earlier in the year revealed how stress and anxiety can be diminished for dementia sufferers, simply by making everyday banking as easy as possible.”
The changes adopted by the bank include training front-line staff to be able to recognise, respond and assist customers living with dementia, and introducing branch technology to identify, record and maintain the files of a customer who has been nominated as having a vulnerability.
Other changes includes St George Bank staff referring vulnerable customers onto Alzheimers Australia for further assistance if required.