Dementia Friendly Services

Expect “Dementia Friendly” Service at IncredibleBank!

Almost 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with dementia…and, sadly, that number will continue to rise to an anticipated 14 million by 2050. Most likely you know a family member, friend, or an acquaintance that has, or is suspected to have, dementia.

As a business whose focus is on providing a high level of customer service, understanding the mannerisms of an individual coping with this disease became a priority at IncredibleBank. Memory loss and difficulty managing finances can be an early sign of dementia and some are unaware they may be exhibiting these signs. Therefore, the process of conducting financial transactions can become confusing and frustrating to both customer and employee.

For one bank employee at IncredibleBank, this issue hit close to the heart. “My father struggled with his memory loss in public settings,” shared IncredibleBank executive administrative assistant, Rhonda Lewis. “It is critical to assist an individual in maintaining their dignity and individualism where ever possible.”

After attending a training session with the Dementia Friendly Middleton Coalition, near Madison, WI, Lewis championed for a company-wide roll-out of a dementia program. And IncredibleBank embraced it.

Today, financial specialists, market managers, home lenders, and Customer Experience Center staff, among others throughout all  IncredibleBank locations are trained on dementia-friendly practices. Whether a customer is inquiring in person, on the phone, or via email, the staff on the other end of that inquiry is ready, willing, and able to help them.

How Does Training Help?
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning and intellectual reasoning due to changes in the brain caused by disease. Symptoms of dementia can be confusing because your loved one may seem as healthy as ever, yet act differently.

IncredibleBank employees have been educated to recognize cues and use specific communication skills to provide a positive experience and address circumstances with expertise and sensitivity. Employees are trained in making good eye contact, speaking slowly and clearly, and having patience when knowingly working with customers showing signs of dementia.

The ultimate goal is to help the customer determine how to best manage their finances.

Having A Dementia-Friendly Status
A dementia-friendly business is a business whose staff has been trained in how best to serve its customers who have dementia and has made changes within its environment to help improve the experience for individuals struggling with memory challenges.

Difficulty managing finances can be an early sign of dementia. Providing dementia friendly practices helps maintain a customer’s independence while also protecting them from problems such as unpaid expenses, squandered resources, avoidable guardianship, and financial abuse, neglect, or exploitation. 

IncredibleBank will maintain its dementia-friendly status with quarterly training sessions for new employees as well as refresher training for current staff.

Applauding IncredibleBank's trail-blazing stance on incorporating its dementia-friendly status, Lewis says it’s a perfect fit for the culture of the bank, and besides, she says, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Author: Rhonda Lewis
Executive Administrative Assistant