A collaboration between Westpac and Dementia Auckland has seen Westpac become New Zealand’s first dementia-friendly bank. A programme has been created to ensure Westpac protects the finances and dignity of its customers living with dementia.
Dementia affects two out of every three New Zealanders. Many people with the condition lose confidence in their ability to manage day-to-day activities, including banking. So Westpac has put initiatives in place that make it easier for people with dementia to manage their money. It is teaching its people how to recognise the signs of the condition and help those customers.
Specialised learning programmes have been introduced for all frontline employees. Digital and system changes have enabled in-branch notifications for 2,200 customers who have told the bank they have a vulnerability, including dementia. Dementia awareness education is part of all employees’ introductory training. Westpac is the first organisation in NZ to be nationally accredited with Alzheimer NZ dementia-friendly award.
A freely-available blueprint has been created to enable any person or organisation to create their own dementia-friendly policies and procedures.