Dementia – Understand Together and Boots Ireland

Members News - Community - Mar 29, 2022

Boots Ireland joined the Dementia – Understand Together campaign on its launch in October 2016.  Understand Together is a public support, awareness and information campaign aimed at inspiring people from all sections of society to stand together with the 500,000 Irish people whose families have been affected by dementia. There are currently over 64,000 people living with dementia in Ireland and this number is expected to more than double to 150,000 by 2045.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term caused by different diseases of the brain, which are normally used for learning, memory and language. Whilst there are many causes of dementia the most common causes are Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Mixed dementia and Lewy Body dementia. Although dementia usually affects people as they get older, it’s not a normal part of ageing. Nine out of ten older people do not get dementia, however younger people can get Dementia too; in someone under 65 this is known as early or young onset dementia.

Over *63% of people with dementia are living in the community. Staying socially active and engaged supports the independence, health and wellbeing of those living with the condition. One of the activities that people with dementia continue to engage with in their local community is shopping, something we take for granted but we know there are simple barriers that impact people with dementia in a retail environment. In a recent national omnibus survey 91% of respondents agreed that people with dementia have the right to be active citizens in their communities, while 81% felt that there are things businesses and service providers can do to make their services accessible to people with dementia.

As a healthcare provider Boots Ireland’s aim is to make our 91 stores in local communities across the country dementia inclusive so that people living with dementia can remain part of their own community, maintaining a better quality of life for longer.

Since partnering on the campaign, Boots Ireland have carried out a range of activities in helping to promote awareness and build dementia inclusive communities:

  • Working with the Dementia: Understand Together campaign in developing a dementia awareness e-Learning module in upskilling our Team Members. This includes an overview of what dementia is, the signs to look out for, the skills needed to help someone in a retail environment, and the personal experience of the person living with dementia.Over 2,000 of Boots’ Team Members have completed this training and it is included as part of theirnew Team Members induction
  • Sharing daily lived experience from Dementia ambassadors at conferences with Boots Pharmacists & Store Managers
  • Focus groups with Dementia ambassadors and Dementia Carers Campaign Network to understand their experience when shopping in Boots stores

Most recently in promoting Brain Health Awareness week which took place 14th – 20th March, Boots Ireland were delighted to have the Alzheimer Society Ireland mobile unit alongside two of their stores in Liffey Valley Shopping and Childers Road Retail Park, Limerick. Dementia advisers were on hand to help raise awareness and advise on local support services available, along with Boots Team Members to advise on their range of pharmacy services instore.

Boots Ireland is one of 40 partners on the Dementia: Understand Together campaign and is the only retailer to have offered this awareness training to all of their staff. The campaign aims to encourage more retailers and other organisations to get involved and take actions. Find out more here.



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