Transport hubs such as airports are busy, noisy and confusing at the best of times, but for people with dementia they can become totally bewildering. Accessibility is not just about providing exemplary customer service for everyone, it’s also about sympathetic and inclusive interior design - of general facilities such as retail spaces and specialist facilities such as sensory rooms.
Gatwick Airport is committed to making the airport accessible for everyone and has been rolling out the Alzheimer’s Society initiative Dementia Friends to all front line staff. Dementia Friends has enabled staff to understand more about dementia, so that they are able to recognise and offer more support to passengers and their companions.
It is the UK’s biggest initiative to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia and has five key messages:
- Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
- Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
- Dementia is not just about losing your memory, it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
- It’s possible to live well with dementia
- There’s more to a person than the dementia
Dementia Friends is about turning understanding into action. At the end of our information session all attendees became Dementia Friends and pledged to take an action to make a difference – from getting in touch with someone with dementia to volunteering or campaigning for change. If you’d like to know more about becoming a dementia friend click here.