TGA, the UK’s leading mobility scooter specialist with a showroom in Sudbury, are working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly business.
The TGA staff attended a Dementia Friends information session and are looking forward to working with the newly formed Sudbury Dementia Action Alliance to become a Dementia Friendly Community.
Dementia Friends is a national initiative, run by the Alzheimer’ Society and aims to improve people’s understanding of Dementia and its effects. Information sessions are delivered to all types of organisations from large to small across the private, public and third sector. This initiative is delivered by over 10,000 Dementia Friends Champions who encourage people to learn more about Dementia and how to assist people living with the condition. These volunteers operate with regionalised Dementia Action Alliances (DAA) of which there are over 350 nationwide and other organisations. Sudbury DAA had its first meeting earlier this year.
Hadleigh was the first DAA to be formed in Suffolk in September 2014. Others include, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and new ones in development in Eye, Needham Market and Wodbridge. Each DAA aims to work towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Community by improving local facilities, peoples understanding of dementia and the small things they can do to make a difference so those affected by Dementia can go about their daily lives and feel included in their community. This is why, as a caring family-run business, TGA has decided to work with the Sudbury DAA to ensure its independent living showroom is welcoming for individuals with any type of Dementia.
There are an estimated 13,000 people living with Dementia in Suffolk and a further 20% undiagnosed. Dementia is a disease of the brain of which there are many types, the most common being Alzheimers, affecting the decline of brain functionality. This may include difficulties with memory loss, thinking speed, understanding and judgement. Mobility and language can also become affected which are all already considered by TGA when helping customers experiencing difficulties. However, through the guidance of the local DAA, the TGA team now have better Dementia-friendly skills and are adapting the showroom décor in line with best practice recommendations. These latest developments represent TGA’s continued public commitment to improving lives.
Rachel Elding, TGA Retail Development Manager explains: “We would like to thank Sue Vincent, our Local Alzheimer's Society representative, for providing an informative session at TGA. The team and I found it very engaging as it strengthens our knowledge of Dementia. Our showroom is already undergoing layout and signage improvements so navigation and familiarity is clearer for visitors with Dementia. This is being supported by a more tailored meet-and-greet approach so communication and movement is less daunting for specific visitors. We already use many techniques to help people with Dementia such as prioritising email correspondence so conversation threads can be recalled, however now we can do so much more. Personally I will also continue to work closely with the DAA outside of the showroom with a view to the community becoming more Dementia friendly as a whole.”