10 reasons to be an age and dementia friendly business

Leeds Older People’s Forum runs the city’s Age and Dementia Friendly business scheme, to which over 90 businesses in the city have already signed up. Here are there top ten reasons why every business should follow suit…in every town and city.

Being age and dementia friendly means different things to every organisation, and the Leeds scheme is open to all businesses and organisations… from bus stations to barbers, mosques to museums, and taxis to tax accountants.

The campaign is based upon what older people have said makes a real difference, including:

  • seating available to customers – (see Come in and Rest)
  • friendly, patient staff, with awareness around dementia
  • offering a variety of ways to book, order or contact you – not only online

So why would a business want to sign up? Here are the top ten reasons:

  1. Create a welcoming city for everyone
    Being Age and Dementia Friendly means providing a positive, welcoming experience for all. Making small changes can make a big difference.
  2. Improve your accessibility
    An age friendly business is an accessible business. Consider your customers’ diverse needs in terms of your physical environment, the attitudes of staff and how you communicate with people.
  3. Support people living with dementia
    In a dementia friendly business people will have an understanding of dementia, and where adaptations are needed. This will enable people living with dementia to continue to take part in everyday life in the way they want to.
  4. Support family, friends and carers
    Being age and dementia friendly not only benefits older people or people living with dementia, but also their family, carers and friends. In fact it benefits everyone!
  5. Increase profits
    There’s a great financial incentive to offering an age friendly service. By 2040, older people will be spending 63p in every pound spent in the UK economy, rising from 54p in 2018.
  6. Free publicity
    Every organisation who signs up receives Age Friendly and Dementia Friendly window stickers and free publicity via Leeds Older People’s Forum and their partners. This includes featuring on our website’s searchable map, monthly newsletter and social media.
  7. Free staff training
    Raise staff awareness, understanding and skills by accessing free sessions such as Dementia Friends and Wise Up to Ageism.
  8. Inspire customer loyalty
    As people develop dementia they will do and spend less, unless businesses adapt to their needs. Research shows that 83% of people with memory problems have switched their shopping habits to places that are more accessible.2
  9. Connect and network with other like-minded businesses
    All participating businesses will be invited to quarterly networking events where they can host a stall, network with others and access training opportunities.
  10. Create a city for the future
    Leeds, like the rest of the UK, has a population is not only growing but also ageing. Around one in three people in Leeds is aged 50+ and the number of Leeds residents aged 80+ will increase by about 50% in the next 20 years.As our population ages, we need accessible and welcoming high streets for all of us.

The link to the Leeds scheme is here: Age and Dementia Friendly business scheme

For more information on LOPF’s brilliant array of other projects, visit Leeds Older People’s Forum’s website

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