Many societies around the world are making great strides towards becoming dementia-friendly communities. Whether that’s through building dementia-villages, introducing new training and education programs or funding social healthcare; there is a growing understanding of the need to make both public and private spaces dementia-friendly.
In this regard, businesses (stores, restaurants, call centers, etc) can also contribute to the meeting the general target of becoming more inclusive. To be dementia-friendly is to understand, respect, and support the needs of people living with dementia. According to Alzheimer’s society, “statistics show that only 47% of people living with dementia feel like they’re a part of their community, and 28% even give-up getting out of the house.” As a business, fostering a dementia-friendly environment may even be economically beneficial. One study in the UK showed that up to 83% of people living with dementia changed their shopping habits to buy from somewhere that was more ‘accessible’ to them.
A dementia-friendly business has three core elements: People, Process, and Place. Each of these elements has to be examined and re-structured carefully in order to create a more inclusive space. Below are some recommendations based on information provided by the Alzheimer’s Society UK.