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How you can support dementia awareness in the workplace

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
How you can support dementia awareness in the workplace

Dementia Action Week 2022 will be from Monday, 19 September – Sunday, 25 September. Find out what your workplace can do to support those affected.

This year’s theme will be, ‘A little support makes a big difference’. With discrimination a key concern for those with dementia and people around them, support from the community can help to break stereotypes and make a positive impact.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe, spoke with HR Leader about the importance of spreading awareness: “We know discrimination has a big impact on people living with dementia, their families and carers, and a little support from the community can make a big difference,” said Ms McCabe.


“Often discriminatory behaviour is unintended and comes from a lack of understanding about dementia and its impact on people.”

With the number of people affected by dementia set to double in the next 25 years according to Dementia Australia, it’s important people are aware and educated on the issue to prevent confusion and discrimination.

Dementia Australia notes that almost 500,000 Australians have dementia and 1.6 million people care for them. Some people impacted by the disorder can live active and fulfilling lives and it is important that the community understand this to prevent any misconceptions.

Ms McCabe added: “The impacts of discrimination can be significant and wide-ranging. An example of discrimination experienced by people living with dementia includes people who share their diagnosis with their employers being less likely to receive the same level of support to continue to work or transition out of work as do people who are diagnosed with other chronic diseases.”

Dementia Australia will be promoting these themes through a variety of channels to support those affected including family and carers.

Ms McCabe shared how organisations can help: “HR and leaders in the workplace can support employees impacted by dementia by learning more about dementia and how best they can provide support to them. A good start is to ask what it is they need and what would make the biggest difference”.

“A little support makes a big difference and encouraging all staff members to learn more about dementia and how best to support their colleague/s at this time would make a world of difference. By everyone better understanding dementia, we will eliminate discrimination and its impacts.”

To discover ways that you can help those affected by dementia, visit discrimination.dementia.org.au.





According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, discrimination occurs when one individual or group of people is regarded less favourably than another because of their origins or certain personality traits. When a regulation or policy is unfairly applied to everyone yet disadvantages some persons due to a shared personal trait, that is also discrimination.


Training is the process of enhancing a worker's knowledge and abilities to do a certain profession. It aims to enhance trainees' work behaviour and performance on the job.

Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias refers to discriminating choices made by a person without their knowledge as a result of internalised opinions towards certain individuals or groups of people. This may have a detrimental impact on hiring choices.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.