Alzheimers.org: 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK, and research * carried out by the charity has shown that 8 out of 10 of those with the condition list shopping as their favourite activity.
However, 63 per cent of people surveyed don’t think that shops are doing enough to help people with dementia and one in four people with dementia have given up shopping since being diagnosed. Many cite difficulties with shopping including finding their way around stores, picking up the wrong items, problems at the checkout and worries about staff and other shoppers’ reactions. Getting out and about and performing everyday tasks like shopping are important because people with dementia want to live well within their own communities and remain independent for as long as possible.
Alzheimer’s Society has launched ‘Becoming a dementia friendly retailer, a practical guide’ at an exclusive industry event attended by retail leaders, including senior representatives from Sainsbury’s, East of England Cooperative, British Council of Shopping Centres and Tesco.
The guide is aimed at a wide range of retailers from corner-shop owners to retail park managers in a bid to help them improve the shopping experience for people with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities initiative aims to ensure people with dementia remain active members of their communities, the guide contains information about how dementia affects people’s experience of shopping. It is also packed with practical tips on how retailers can best support customers with dementia while they shop – from staff signing up to become Dementia Friends to making store layouts more accessible.
The guide sets out four commitments that retailers can make for customers with dementia and their carers:
- Improve staff awareness and understanding of dementia
- Review the physical environment of the store/premises
- Support staff who develop dementia or care for a person with dementia
- Support the local community
British Geriatrics Society