Dementia friendly shopping – a guide for retailers

Shopping is one of the activities that those living with dementia enjoy doing most in their local area, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Whilst this is something that most of us take for granted, there are barriers preventing people with dementia from actively participating and feeling comfortable when outdoors.

Alzheimer’s Society believes that everyone in the community can play a role in helping people with dementia to live well. In this context, retailers in particular have a key role to play.

By developing an understanding of the condition, retailers can make a huge difference to people living with dementia in their area. They can influence the visiting experience for people with dementia and so encourage customer loyalty from this valuable group of society.

Becoming a dementia-friendly retailer: A practical guide

It’s Dementia Action Week, so to help businesses get started on becoming a dementia-friendly retailer, the Alzheimer’s Society have put together a guide containing information about how dementia affects people’s experience of shopping. It provides tips and guidance to help retailers become more dementia friendly as well as details of additional resources and tools.

Retailers can make a commitment in four areas:

  • Improve staff awareness and understanding
  • Review the physical environment of the store/premises
  • Support staff who develop dementia or care for a person with dementia
  • Support the local community.

Basic areas for improvement

  • Signposting – helping people who may have dementia to find entrances, exits and toilets
  • Assistance – approaching customers to ask if they need help to find an item
  • Payment – helping to count out money or allowing someone to sign instead of using a chip and pin card
  • Practical support – offering all customers help with packing at the checkout
  • Dementia-friendly customer service – greater awareness among staff will help to ensure they are patient and offering clear, straightforward answers

What are the business benefits?

  • Competitive advantage – retain existing customers and attract new ones
  • Increased revenue
  • Improved customer service – staff will feel more comfortable when dealing with customers
  • Enhanced brand reputation – businesses can demonstrate that they are socially responsible
  • Complying with the law

To view the guide and learn how to make your business more accessible to people living with dementia, click here.