Simple steps to make your business more age and dementia friendly

There are more than 39,100 people aged 65 years and over living and shopping in our city and this will continue to grow.

Making your business more welcoming and accessible to older people and people living with dementia will benefit you and improve the experience for all your customers. 

We’ve launched Brighton & Hove’s free Age and Dementia Friendly Business Recognition Scheme to help support your organisation to make simple changes that will make a big difference to your customers and employees. 

From offering a place to sit and rest, to checking lighting is clear and bright, and ensuring staff are patient, friendly and face the customer.

Many actions won’t cost you a penny and can be done right away, others can be something you work towards when you get the opportunity.

If you sign up for the scheme you will find out what specific actions you can take in your business, and we’ll support you as you work towards putting them in place.

Find out more and register as an Age and Dementia Friendly business.

Councillor Ty Galvin, lead for Ageing Well said:

“We want Brighton & Hove to be a place where everyone can keep doing the things they enjoy as they get older.  

“To do that we all need to think about the everyday experience of older people or people living with dementia and do what we can to help make sure everyone can access the services they need.  

“The Age and Dementia Friendly Business Recognition Scheme will help you consider simple changes that will make your business easier to find, move around in or more welcoming.  

“By getting it right for older people and people living with dementia it will improve the experience for everyone. And as a bonus, will be better for your business.”  

The toolkit was created alongside professionals who work with older people and people living with dementia, and crucially residents with lived experience.

Brighton & Hove Buses were the first to be accredited to the scheme. They have a long-standing commitment to making their buses more accessible and have experienced the benefits for their customers and their business.

Ed Wills, Managing Director at Brighton & Hove Buses said: “We know that travelling by bus can be a key factor in helping people with dementia retain their independence and live well. This is why all colleagues at Brighton & Hove Buses, including myself, are dementia friends, and we now have dementia friendly flooring on all our buses.

“Brighton & Hove City Council’s Age and Dementia Friendly Recognition Scheme will help to ensure more businesses sign up to be dementia friendly. We were extremely pleased to hear that we have now been accredited, as part of this scheme, as an Age and Dementia Friendly Business, and we look forward to continuing welcoming everyone on board our buses.”

Last year the council worked closely with East Brighton Café to make it more accessible to older people and people living with dementia. The project highlights what can be achieved by making relatively small changes, not only in terms of benefits to customers but also to its staff and the business itself.

Café owner Marilyn Chelliah said: “This is actually very close to my heart. My dad, who lives in South Africa, was diagnosed with early onset dementia shortly after losing my mum in May 2020. The distance meant that I could not be there for him.

“The programme has provided myself and my staff with tools we can now use in assisting our customers who are living with dementia.

“It’s given us the understanding to help others and ensure they have a pleasurable experience, even for as simple an activity as a day out to a café.”

Organisations that have recently signed up include The La Di Da Society, One Garden Brighton, Projects Brighton coworking spaces and St Matthias Church.

If you’re interested in finding out more, have a look at the Age and Dementia Friendly webpages or contact the public health team for a chat. Email or call 01273 296 580. 

More information about dementia and ageing

Anyone who wants to learn more about dementia and how you can make a difference can become a Dementia Friend

Anyone working with older people or people living with dementia in Brighton & Hove can email to book onto training to help support people to age better and live healthy and active lives.

Find out why accessible buses are so vital in the city by watching the video 'Shirley's Journey' as she shares her own words on why accessible buses mean so much and help her to live well with dementia.

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