We’re proud to announce that Coles Funeral Directors has taken the Dementia Friendly pledge, helping to ensure our funeral homes are accessible and welcoming for those living with dementia.
Living with dementia can bring unique challenges to an individual and their family. Our team certainly have their own experiences of this and with research showing that in 2020, 22,868 people received a dementia diagnosis in Wales, we needed to adapt accordingly.
Safety and comfort are of the utmost priority, especially when helping those suffering through periods of bereavement. That’s why we decided to access the Dementia Friendly initiative with Marie Curie and the Alzheimer’s Society. And we hope this will encourage other businesses will follow our lead – in our sector and outside of it.
Head of communications, Francesca Coles said: ‘We are passionate about becoming a Dementia Friendly organisation, and this experience has opened our eyes to where improvements could be made. As a local, family-run business that helps the community through some of their most difficult times, we’re proud to be with them every step of the way, and we want to ensure that all of our customers can access that personalised support.”
For those living with dementia, visiting a funeral home can be overwhelming, especially with emotions running high. That’s why we sought external advice from Marie Curie, who provided us with an action plan, with key considerations to be implemented, as well as specialist support and resources from the Alzheimer’s Society.
- Adjusting our premises with clearer signage, using a simple font to guide our customers around our funeral homes
- Using contrasting colours throughout our funeral homes to support understanding and wayfinding
- Reviewing our lighting and decor to minimise confusion
- Undertaking team training to ensure that everyone in the business is equipped to support customers living with dementia and their families
- Being mindful of our processes and developing them accordingly.
Francesca continued: “Thanks to the support from Marie Curie and the Alzheimer’s Society, our team feel better-informed to provide guidance and reassurance to customers and family members who are living with dementia. We are committing to building on this activity in the long term and will continue to champion the importance of dementia friendly environments and becoming Dementia Friends.”
We have been working on this process for around four months with in-person visits, Zoom meetings and assessments of our funeral homes. And we will strive to continue our progress in this area for all future activities.