A GUIDE FOR LOCAL RETAILERS
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for circa 60-80% of cases. It’s now estimated that there are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia.
By 2025, this figure is estimated to have increased to around 1 million.
Symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, and can be severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
For example, people living with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning or preparing meals, remembering appointments or travelling out of the neighbourhood
What kind of difficulties might a person living with dementia have?
Looking, or saying that they are a bit post or confused
Appearing to be searching for something they can’t find
Looking like they don’t know what to do next
Appearing to have problems handling or understanding their money, or how to use their card
Appearing to find self-service facilities hard to understand
Speech may be difficult to understand or they may be struggling to find the right words
What Makes A Space Dementia Friendly? - You do!
Good customer service is key to helping somebody live well with dementia and here are just a few tips to help you and your staff deliver a more dementia-friendly service:
Allow the person to take their time - Take YOUR time - Speak clearly and not too quickly
Use good eye contact
Use short simple sentences and make only one point at a time
Don’t give too many options - Two options is more than enough (either - or) -With dementia the brain processing speed is slower to respond
Avoid giving information that is too long or that contains too much jargon
Try to understand that they might be feeling anxious and - or confused
Don’t contradict or argue - You will never win an argument with a person living with dementia !
Ask direct questions. For example, ‘Is there someone you would like me to call?’ rather than ‘What would you like me to do?’
Consider their feelings and respond to the emotions they are expressing.
LISTEN very carefully and make sure you communicate through your body language that you are actually listening
Offer to pick out the right money if someone appears to be struggling to work out the coins or notes
Offer to keep their shopping to one side so that they can come back to collect when they remember their pin
You may not always be able to tell if someone is living with dementia, but by being observant and aware of certain signs your staff can be better equipped to offer a helping hand.
Let your staff know it might be worth doing so if they see someone:
Standing still at the same place for a long duration of time.
Giving their whole wallet when they are paying.
Repeatedly buying unusually large quantities of the same product. Having difficulties expressing themselves or saying what they need. Appearing lost or confused.
Forgetting to pay for goods or products.
As in all aspects of life of course, there is no substitute for kindness or patience...but more understanding of a complex situation always helps too...
Heather & Paul. (Tysoe)