A GROUND-BREAKING initiative from the Alzheimer’s Society is set to make Chichester city centre a more dementia-friendly place.
‘Dementia champions’ in major stores have been tasked with helping people feel more independent when they go out shopping.
Elisa Vaughan, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It might be just helping or assisting people navigate the shop or finding what they want, or even helping them with paying.”
The scheme is being rolled out nationwide and sees stores appointing staff members to the role, who in turn train ‘dementia friends’ among their teams.
“We applaud Argos, Homebase, Marks and Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group for their commitment to help their staff understand more about dementia,” she said.
Research by the society discovered one in four people with dementia had given up shopping since being diagnosed, despite the majority feeling this was the most common activity that helped them feel part of the community.
Angie Newing, the society’s regional director for the south, said: “Many people with dementia tell us that shopping and visiting their local high street can be very stressful but today’s announcement brings us a step closer to becoming a dementia-friendly society.”
According to the charity, around 800,000 people in the UK currently suffer from some form of dementia.
It said the figure was set to rise to more than 1m by 2020 and 1.7m by 2051.
The society said it was looking for more businesses in Chichester to get involved with the scheme.
For further information, visit t