In a major new initiative – one of the first of its kind in England – shops and services in Liverpool’s city centre are coming together to learn how they could become Dementia Friendly.
Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Society and with the support of local businesses, has organised a day of talks, films, displays and workshops for managers and staff of shops and services at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday 21st May.
Gina Shaw, a Liverpool resident who has dementia and who stars in the Alzheimer’s Society With A Little Help From My Friends TV advert, said: “People living with dementia want to visit and use shops and services but often they encounter problems, either because of how the premises are laid out or because staff don’t understand what dementia is or how it can affect people.”
Ruth Eley, Chair of the Dementia Action Alliance said “Many people with dementia, their carers and families choose not to use particular shops or services because of the difficulties they have. With better understanding and awareness all businesses can become dementia friendly and attract more customers. This day will help businesses in the City of Liverpool improve their service for customers with dementia; making small changes can make a wealth of difference.”
Sessions will cover Environment and Premises, Customer Service and the national Dementia Friends initiative. Information and advice will be provided by professionals from statutory and voluntary sectors and also people living with dementia.
A Breakfast Briefing for senior managers prior to the main event will provide an appreciation of the business case for becoming dementia friendly (including corporate social responsibility) and will outline the resources and assistance available to help businesses succeed.
The opening address will be given by Councillor Gary Millar, Cabinet member for business and enterprise – and there will be a screening of a specially commissioned short film Improving The Dementia Customer Experience: Small Change – Wealth of Difference, featuring local people describing how dementia affects their choices as customers.
The day is supported by Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Co., Liverpool One and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Merseycare and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group. Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided.
The free event will be hosted by Lord Mayor Erica Kemp CBE, who said “It’s wonderful that local businesses and services are coming together in partnership to help make Liverpool one of the country’s first Dementia Friendly cities”.
The launch coincides with Alzheimer’s Society’ Dementia Awareness Week 2015, which takes place from May 18th – 24th 2015.
DID YOU KNOW?
• In the UK 850,000 people are living with dementia, 670,000 people are primary dementia carers and 24.5 million people (38% of the population) have a relative or friend living with dementia.
• Shopping and using everyday high street services plays an important part in the lives of people living with dementia but there can be difficulties which cause them and their families and carers to avoid particular shops, services or locations.
• 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes
• 850,000 people in the UK will have a form of dementia by 2015. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to two million people by 2051
• Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 Billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia.
• Anyone looking for confidential advice, information and support, can call Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk