The Alzheimer’s Society has teamed up with major retailers to launch a campaign aimed at keeping citizens who suffer from dementia involved and accepted within the community.
At an event attended by major retail figures such as British Council of Shopping Centres, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, Alzheimer’s Society launched Becoming a dementia friendly retailer, a practical guide.
Of the 850,000 people living in the UK who suffer from dementia 80 per cent of these have said that shopping was their favourite activity. Despite this 25 per cent of those surveyed who have been diagnosed with dementia have stated they have given up shopping by themselves.
This is due to having anxieties finding their way around stores, paying for items and staff misunderstanding their condition. The campaign will seek to tackle this directly and allow those who suffer with dementia to stay involved in the community and maintain independence for as long as possible.
Becoming a dementia-friendly retailer is aimed at all retailers from corner shops to shopping centres and seeks make shopping a more dementia friendly experience in as many outlets as possible.
The guide offers practical advice on things like how to make a store layout more accessible, how to improve staff awareness of dementia, how to support staff who suffer from it and also how to support the local community.
“Sainsbury’s stores assist elderly and disabled customers with their shopping every week, and this includes customers with dementia,” Sainsbury’s company secretary Tim Fallowfield said.
“To enable our colleagues in stores to help these customers, we include information about dementia in our colleague disability awareness training and take the needs of customers with dementia into account when developing new products and services.”
The guide was also developed by Retail Task and Finish Group, a group of retail companies chaired by Sainsbury’s.