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How to find Dementia Friendly venues this World Alzheimer’s Month

September marks World Alzheimer’s Month, with 21st September recognised as World Alzheimer’s Day. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, this month is a global opportunity to raise awareness around, educate, encourage support of, and demystify dementia. 

Living and/or caring for somebody with Alzheimer’s disease is a life-altering experience. It’s a very difficult condition to manage, and people can face many disabling social barriers too. It may become more challenging for people to travel to and access the places that mean the most to them, and so many people feel an increased sense of loneliness and isolation as a result of their diagnosis too. 

At AccessAble, we take the chance out of going out. We provide Detailed Access Guides to tell you all about a venue’s access, to remove the need to spend hours researching and planning a suitable trip. Our Detailed Access Guides cover venues in depth, and we also use a range of Accessibility Symbols to summarise this information at first glance. 

One of our 33 Accessibility Symbols is ‘Dementia Friendly’. Any venue with this symbol on its Access Guide has provided evidence of implementing a Dementia Friendly initiative. These initiatives vary between venues, but can involve adjustments such as removing or reducing background noise, providing a sensory map or quiet area for visitors, or providing staff with dementia-specific training so they are equipped to communicate with and assist visitors with Alzheimer’s disease or similar conditions. 

AccessAble Dementia Friendly symbol, a purple shape with five soft edges, shaped like a star, and a dot in the centre.

This is AccessAble's Dementia Friendly symbol. Find out more about our Accessibility Symbols here!

When you use the AccessAble website or app, you can filter results by their Accessibility Symbols. This means that when you’re searching for a restaurant, attraction, hospital, or various other venues, you can filter them and see which of them have Dementia Friendly Initiatives implemented. Having this knowledge can help people to plan their trip and give them better idea of what to expect, and this in turn can take away a significant amount of anxiety before and during a visit. 

For example, if you live in Basingstoke and fancy going shopping, you can use AccessAble’s search tool to filter nearby venues to find those that are Dementia Friendly. In this case, this will lead you to the Accessibility Guide for Festival Place Shopping Centre. Within here, you can find various Detailed Access Guides providing targeted information on specific areas, and see that the Customer Service Lounge has a designated place of safety which can be used by people with dementia, autism or learning disabilities. The venue also offers a quiet shopping experience each week, with a more relaxed atmosphere and participating retailers removing background music in their stores. 

Screenshot of the Detailed Access Guide for Festival Place Shopping Centre in Basingstoke, including information about the safe place in their Customer Services Lounge for visitors with dementia.

Read the full Accessibility Guide for Festival Place Shopping Centre here!

Nobody should have to feel alone or isolated due to a disability or long-term condition. By including Dementia Friendly initiatives in our Detailed Access Guides, we hope to enable people with Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions to visit the places they love with more confidence and reassurance. To begin searching for Dementia Friendly venues near you, head to the AccessAble website

If you or a loved one are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Society website contains further information and support, including a dedicated helpline open seven days a week.  

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