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Brighton and Hove stores become dementia friendly
Updated 11:29am Monday 17th March 2014 in News
Shops and businesses in Brighton and Hove are being urged to help customers by becoming dementia friendly.
Marks and Spencer, the Lloyds Banking Group, Argos and Homebase have already signed up to a campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society.
The charity wants as many workers as possible to become Dementia Friends and learn what they can do to make a difference to people in the city living with the condition.
A study by the charity found one in four people with dementia have given up shopping since being diagnosed.
Angie Newing, Horsham-based regional director for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Many people with dementia tell us that shopping and visiting their local high street can be very stressful.
“Dementia Friends will enable people with dementia to feel more independent when they go out.
“Sometimes this can mean the difference between staying in the community, or being forced to move to a care home prematurely.”
Brighton and Hove City Council public health specialist Barbara Hardcastle said: “Thousands of people’s lives in Brighton and Hove are affected by dementia, so it’s great news that high street shops are making efforts to assist those people experiencing the wide-ranging symptoms which can limit their independence.
“This latest high street initiative is welcome and sends a powerful signal out to other retail outlets and organisations to think about how they might cater for those suffering from this condition.”
The council is working with the city’s clinical commissioning group to refresh its action plan on dementia.
This includes raising awareness of dementia through campaigns and training and making dementia friendly changes to the environment in health, community and residential settings.
The aim is to increase the early detection of dementia and offer support to those recently diagnosed.
Terry Duddy, chief executive of the Home Retail Group which owns Argos and Homebase, said: “We want to help people living with dementia stay in their own homes and be part of their local community for longer.
“We hope that by offering Dementia Friends on hand to help with shopping in our stores, they will be able to do just that.”
There are more than 24,400 people in Sussex believed to have dementia and this is expected to rise to more than 33,700 in the next eight years.
For more information, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk.
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