health

Programme launched to make high street safer for shoppers with dementia


The initiative by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) will aim to solve problems such as issues remembering a PIN number, accidentally shoplifting or difficulties navigating around

town centres.

One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK, and the condition affects one in six people over 80.

It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than one million – compared to around 850,000 now.

Sophia Dimitriadis, research fellow at ILC, said: “There is an increasing number of people living with dementia who want to spend and enjoy shopping. But too many are being prevented from doing so easily and safely.

The failure to adapt our high streets, our financial services and online shopping environments to growing numbers of people with dementia must be addressed.

“Enabling people with dementia to spend as they wish will not only benefit their health and wellbeing, but also allow businesses to tap into large, and growing levels of high street spending.”

Researchers at ILC, alongside the Standard Life Foundation (SLF). will talk to people with dementia and their carers about the problems they face when shopping.

They will then present the problems to retailers and work with designers or start-up firms to identify solutions.

Rebecca Graham, programme manager at SLF, said: “As well as being a normal and necessary part of life for most people, spending can also be a source of enjoyment, but it

comes with risks that are amplified for people with dementia.

“The more we understand about this, the better equipped we are to make spending a safer and happier experience.”

  • People looking to highlight problems experienced by dementia patients while shopping should contact events@ilcuk.org.uk





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