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There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Last year alone, 225,000 will develop dementia; that’s one person every three minutes. 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 currently have dementia.

Every day at HSL we meet customers on their own dementia journey, which is one of the reasons were proud to name the Alzheimer’s Society as one of our 2019 nominated charities. Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative and we are pleased to have trained “Dementia Friends” throughout our stores and Customer Service Team.

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Our teams currently undertake specialist training with Occupational Therapist Julie Jennings Dip COT, HCPC. In addition to this, we are have worked with the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure we understand how to best support our customers with dementia and those who accompany them.

This training took place across our business from the Customer Care Team to our Comfort Specialist and Home Visit teams. Achieving the right level of postural support helps remove a source of discomfort for all of us, and so we wouldn’t dream of allowing dementia to prevent anyone from being able to enjoy their own personalised comfort.

Our company CEO, Guy Critchlow’s father sadly suffered from dementia. His own personal experience, and his passion of the HSL company ethos, drove him to train to run the 26.2 mile Edinburgh Marathon in 2019, raising money for Dementia Friends.

In Guy’s own words:

“A picture does not always tell the whole story. Just a few short years ago this photo of my Dad with my son, hands held to ensure he did not trip, would have been quite normal yet the roles were later reversed.”

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Supporting a loved one with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic may feel like an overwhelming challenge. The Alzheimer’s Society have published some very helpful advice for those who might be wondering what steps to take. Their article covers things like bringing sanitising and cleaning into daily routines, looking after your own mental health, shopping, helping from a distance and much more. Read their advice here.