BUSINESSES have been getting behind plans to make Houghton the first dementia-friendly shopping area in the North East.
Houghton Traders’ Association is now working with the Alzheimer’s Society and firms in the area to help residents who have the illness to live better lives.
As part of the scheme, an event took place yesterday at Peppercorn Coffee Shop, in Newbottle Street, to give people advice on spotting the early signs of dementia.
Coun Graeme Miller, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for health, said: “It is estimated that more than 3,400 people in Sunderland are living with dementia and this figure is set to rise to almost 4,000 by 2020.
“We’re committed to doing what we can to support those living with dementia and their families to live full and active lives.”
Houghton shops and organisations such as Peppercorn Coffee Shop, Just Sew Interiors, Gentoo and Houghton Computers have signed up the new agreement.
Andrew Oliver, chairman of Houghton Traders’ Association, said: “We want to encourage all local businesses to come forward and support them to become dementia friendly.”
“There are some very simple things that local businesses can do to improve the shopping experience for people with dementia, such as staff awareness training, or looking at areas like seating, signage and accessibility.”