Cameron Toll becomes dementia friendly

The Cameron Toll centre has become Edinburgh's first dementia friendly shopping mall after lending its support to a city-wide awareness campaign.

Cameron Toll becomes dementia friendly
Cllr Ricky Henderson with Cameron Toll staff and retailers

The centre and its shops have become adopters of ‘Dementia Friendly Edinburgh’, a scheme led by the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and Alzheimer Scotland to cope with the growing number of people who are affected by the illness.

It is estimated that the number of people with dementia is set to increase by over two thirds in the next two decades. One in two sufferers are not even aware that they have it.

The businesses showed their support for the campaign during Dementia Awareness Week Scotland in Cameron Toll today (June 5), where an information stall highlighting the campaign was set up. So far, more than 30 organisations including supermarkets, the emergency services, chemists and retailers have signed up to become early adopters of the scheme and are actively involved in developing it.

 By backing the scheme, they are committing to help people with dementia get on with everyday activities like shopping, leisure activities, travel and socialising.

Dementia Friendly Edinburgh encourages the private, public and voluntary sectors to work together to make sure that the city is a welcoming place for those living with dementia.

Cameron Toll branches of Sainsbury's, TSB, Boots, Thornton’s, Bank of Scotland, Specsavers, Optical Express, Clarks and Blue Inc have signed up so far.

Cllr Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Dementia Friendly Edinburgh will set a minimum standard for businesses and other organisations to meet when they join the scheme. This will include raising awareness of dementia with front-line staff and making sure that staff are trained to help people with dementia in situations where they are experiencing difficulties.

"Getting the whole city involved to support people with dementia will make it possible for them to continue to live well within their own community and also remain valued, connected and involved members of that community."

Katie Devlin, from the Cameron Toll Centre Management Team, said: “We are delighted to be the first shopping centre to support Dementia Friendly Edinburgh. We know that staff working at the centre are regularly coming into contact with customers with dementia and their families. It is important to be able to recognise when a customer may be having problems and give them they help they need."

Helen Hay, Alzheimer Scotland's regional manager for South East and Central Scotland, said: "People with dementia can find shopping a stressful experience, particularly if they feel rushed. They may need to take a bit longer at the checkout and can have difficulty handing money. If shop workers recognise the difficulties that people with dementia might have, then they can support them to make shopping more comfortable."

Lynda Cowie, Chief Nurse, Edinburgh Community Health Partnership, said: “We have an ageing population and we know that the number of people with dementia is increasing across Lothian and the rest of Scotland. Even the simplest of changes can help make a real difference to someone with dementia and this initiative is about encouraging businesses to be aware of the needs of people with dementia and make those changes.

"We are committed to making services better and by working together we can ensure that people can remain part of their community and carry out normal, everyday tasks.”

Notes to Editors. Also signed up to Dementia Friendly Edinburgh are: Lothian Buses, Scotmid, Lloyds Pharmacy, Edinburgh's Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, South and East Edinburgh Licensed Trade Association, the Edinburgh Business Forum, Edinburgh Leisure, Home Instead Senior Care Edinburgh, Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation's Council, University of Edinburgh, McCarthy & Stone, Barnton Community Pharmacy.

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