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Alzheimer’s Society and Britain’s best known gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, have come together to produce a brand new guide encouraging garden centres and nurseries across the UK to become dementia-friendly and sign up to their Forget Me Not campaign.
The guide, which is backed by gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh, includes information for garden centre staff about the condition as well as practical tips and advice on how they can make their business more accessible to the 850,000 people across the UK currently living with dementia.
Calling on Britain’s garden centres to future-proof their products and services by taking simple steps such as displaying clear signage or ensuring accessible toilet facilities, the guide shows that when a business gets it right for people with dementia, it gets it right for everyone.
Designed for garden centres and nurseries at any level, the guide not only offers practical advice on how to make garden centre venues more dementia-friendly and accessible, but also provides tips and guidance on how to support staff, customers and all those affected by the condition within the local community. The garden guide tips are easy to implement and include reflections from people with dementia on what really works for them.
For businesses considering the financial implications of becoming a dementia-friendly business, the guide addresses the fact that people with dementia and their families often have considerable disposable income and spending power, with the average household affected by dementia spending £16,800 per year. By embracing this, businesses can increase revenue, improve customer service and future-proof a business’s products and services.
With dementia set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, Alzheimer’s Society is also encouraging garden centres to fundraise and help fund their vital work to provide information and support services to people affected by dementia, improve care, continue research, and create lasting change.
Alan Titchmarsh MBE, gardener, presenter and novelist, who provided the foreword to the guide, said: “Gardens and gardening are incredibly important and a constant feature throughout our life, especially so for older people and people affected by dementia. A garden can help people living with dementia enjoy socialising and connect with others by creating a shared experience, to take part in physical activity and stimulate the senses and memories, all of which greatly improves their well-being.
“By developing an understanding of the condition, garden centres can make a huge difference to people living with dementia to continue to play an active part of their communities and continue to do the things they want to do.
“I am delighted to support this guide and the incredibly important work that garden centres are doing to support people living with and affected by dementia.”
Bents Home and Garden in Glazebury, who recently selected Alzheimer’s Society as their Charity of the Year 2017, have been working closely with the charity to become more dementia-friendly while raising much-needed funds.
Matthew Bent, Managing Director of Bents Garden & Home said: “Bents has not only committed to raising money for Alzheimer's Society as our Charity of the Year 2017 but we are also working hard to become a dementia-friendly destination.
“Over the past few months we have worked with Alzheimer's Society to provide tips and training for our staff and guidance as to how they can help people with dementia while at the centre. We even had an Alzheimer's Society stand in the centre during Dementia Awareness Week earlier on in the year.
“All of this plays a crucial role in ensuring that people with dementia feel active, supported and valued when shopping at Bents - and strengthens our relationship with well-established and new potential shoppers. We would definitely recommend becoming more dementia-friendly to other garden centres across the country."
For more information on the Forget Me Not campaign, how to get involved and to download the guide, please visit: www.alzheimers.org/uk/gardening