I recently attended the first “Dementia Friendly Todmorden” meeting at the Bear Cafe and it is clear from this that there is much that can be done to help those with dementia, their families and their carers in our community.
I speak personally as a shopkeeper in the town and following the meeting, I am keen to learn more about how I can adapt my shop and train our staff in order to recognise and make life easier for anyone with the condition who shops in Todmorden.
Going to the shops is a simple yet massive part of anyone’s life – we all have to shop yet rarely think how easy this is when we are fortunate enough to be in good health.
A person with dementia however, does not always have the same experience and shops can become confusing and intimidating places.
A town where anyone who is affected by dementia can visit, safe in the knowledge that every shop that they go in will be sympathetic and responsive to their needs is surely therefore, what we must all aspire to.
I am certain that making our shops more dementia friendly is something that can easily be done and in this respect, we as shopkeepers all have a massive and important role to play if Todmorden is to truly become the first dementia friendly town in the UK.
There are further meetings planned where more details of the steps that we can take will be formulated and distributed to all of our shops in the town.
I sincerely hope that every shopkeeper will welcome and action these suggestions and will play their part in making life in Todmorden easier for those affected by dementia. Watch this space!