Call for High Peak businesses and schools to support Dementia Awareness Week

High Peak businesses and shops are being urged to become more welcoming for those people living with dementia.

By Lucy Ball
Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:00 am

Buxton resident Keith Horncastle looked after his wife, who had dementia, for six years and has now become a dementia champion for the town.

He wants more people to get involved with Dementia Awareness Week which starts on May 17 and is calling on schools to take part in denim for dementia and for shops to become more understanding to those living with the condition.

He said: “Dementia Action Week comes at the end of a most difficult year for people who are living with dementia and their carers.

Longstanding dementia champion Keith Horncastle meets up with Morrisons community champion Rob Harrison and dementia support worker Leigh Griffiths

"The lack of social content, whether with families in care homes, in lockdown with a lacking of social contact during the last year has really lead to a deterioration and also an increase in memory loss.”

Keith said: “Before lockdown a number of shops and businesses signed up towards the creation of dementia friendlies communities in Buxton and the High Peak.

"This was interrupted by lockdowns and as well as looking forward to the easing of restrictions, we would hope Dementia Action Week would spur more businesses to want to join the initiative."

Robert Harrison is the community champion at Buxton’s Morrisons store and supports the work of Dementia Action Week.

He said: “My nan is living with dementia and I know how hard it can be for people to just walk into a shop sometimes.

"It’s the little things like realising the black mats by the front of shops look like black holes so a person may be nervous about entering a store.”

This year’s action week is not only about awareness but also about fundraising. A new initiative Denim for Dementia will be happening in schools and workplaces where people pay a pound to the Alzheimer’s Society to wear denim instead of their uniform and Keith would love more schools to join in.

He added: “Sadly there are still a few people who regard dementia as stigma when its of course a disease like any other illness.

"We can all play a part in welcoming people with dementia and their families into the world outside their homes.”