Over the last 6 months, Alzheimer Scotland and Braehead Centre (Glasgow) have been working together to ensure shopping at Braehead is as easy and comfortable as possible for people living with dementia.

As part of this project, staff at the shopping and leisure destination have taken part in Dementia Friends sessions, which included learning more about dementia and the communication and behavioural changes it can bring and how to turn that understanding into action to create a better customer experience. These sessions are being offered on an ongoing basis to staff in the Centre’s many retail and food outlets.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friendly Scotland Lead, Anne McWhinnie, also gave Braehead practical guidance and advice about environmental changes that, when implemented would make the Centre easier to navigate and enjoy.

Among other changes, Braehead have replaced their entrance black mats with colours that correspond to the car park names. Not only can this help a customer recall where they've parked their car but due to changes in perception with some types of dementia black mats can appear as a large hole in the ground. Removing this can encourage a customer to walk through the entranceway. Easy to read and concise signage has also been placed at eye level around the Centre to aid orientation.

Braehead’s Community Development Manager, Lydia Brown said: “We aim to make everyone’s visit to Braehead as comfortable and safe as possible. And we’ll do all we can to make sure people with dementia can enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants like everyone else does.”

With over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and this number only set to rise, almost everyone knows someone with a diagnosis or has an experience of dementia. This includes every sector and every industry, from customers to staff. If you would like to hear more about how we can offer bespoke Dementia Friends sessions to the benefit of your organisation, please contact Anne McWhinnie.

Anne and Lydia of Braehead Centre are placing a new red entrance mat in place at the entrance of Braehead
Lydia Brown, Community Development Manager for Braehead Centre, and Anne McWhinnie, Dementia Friendly Scotland Lead