Dementia Action Week

Dementia is one of the biggest challenges our society faces. It will affect us all.

Today there are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. This is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2021. Two-thirds of people with dementia are living in our communities (as opposed to care homes) and are trying to maintain a good quality of life. You can still live well with dementia, but this relies on communities coming together to support people to be as independent for as long as possible.

Our shopping centres are a central part of this. People with dementia have told the Alzheimer’s Society that shopping is their favourite activity (almost 80 per cent), but retail spaces aren’t catering for their needs (63 per cent).

We are passionate about giving our customers their perfect shopping experience and so we have committed to making our centres dementia friendly and supporting the Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness about creating a dementia friendly country.

This year, we are making our staff Dementia Friends so they can better serve and support our customers with dementia and their carer’s, families and friends. We are also looking at changes we can make to our centres, such as extra seating or reviewing our flooring to make them easier to navigate.

As well as the training, our centres are inviting customers in to take part in a variety of events that will provide information, and fun and fulfilling experiences, including some pampering to revitalise and rejuvenate carers.

With over 35 million customers a year, we know we can play a big role in supporting the Alzheimer’s Society to reach their goal of creating 3 million Dementia Friends in the UK this year.

It is perfectly possible to live well dementia, we want to help create dementia friendly communities across the UK.

It’s easy to become a Dementia Friend, please visit https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/ to find out how you can help.

Alexander Nicoll

Job title Corporate responsibility director

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