A ‘Treasure Map’, with steps to take to become more dementia-friendly, has been rolled out to all Priceline Pharmacies as the organisation edges closer to becoming a Dementia-Friendly Organisation.
As part of the initiative, pharmacy staff undertook steps in the Treasure Map including completing an online training module, downloading the dementia-friendly language guidelines, signing up to be a Dementia Friend, and considering and implementing two practical initiatives to make their environment more dementia-friendly.
Four pharmacies stood out for their practical innovations. Maryborough in Victoria, Norwood in South Australia, Yass in New South Wales, and Beaumaris in Western Australia.
Representatives from each of these pharmacies were recognised by Dementia Australia Chief Executive Officer Maree McCabe and Executive Director Business Development Leanne Emerson, at a special celebration at the Dementia Australia Melbourne offices.
Some of the changes identified by the Priceline staff included:
Elise Wan, Pharmacist at the Beaumaris Pharmacy said the changes created had made an immediate and noticeable impact.
“The changes in the clinic room has helped relax many of our patients young and old. In fact, customers who were previously scared of finger prick tests suddenly have the courage to go through with it – with one customer willing to sit through multiple tests while we were talking about the pictures!” Mr Wan said.
In addition to the changes identified through the Treasure Map competition, the majority of stores in the Priceline network have made changes to improve the experience of people living with dementia. Some examples have been to change toilet seats to blue (contrast colouring is key), removing dark mats as they may seem like a barrier or hole in the floor, and ensuring music is at a level that is not intimidating for shoppers. Pharmacies are also clearing clutter from key aisles and introducing clear signage so customers can navigate aisles and find products more easily.
For more information about Dementia Friendly Organisations or the Dementia Friends program, please visit dementiafriendly.org.au.
This sounds like a much needed initiative. Other pharmacy franchises should follow. The MyChemist/Chemist Warehouse chain could make a lot of similar changes. On recent visits supporting my mother who has mild cognitive impairment, dispensing pharmacists were repeatedly irritated and un-empathetic to her particular difficulties.