Alzheimer's Society have supported VisitEngland and VisitScotland to launch a new guide to help tourism businesses become more dementia-friendly.

Emily Hope from Beamish Museum tells us why it is important for staff to understand dementia

“Every new member of staff or volunteer completes a Dementia Friends session, regardless of their position. As a Dementia Friends Champion I help to deliver these one hour sessions as part of the induction process. Staff tell us that a key takeaway is that dementia affects everyone differently. As the most recent memories often go first, our period settings at the museum can be more familiar for people with dementia.

All staff are given the Dementia Friends badge to wear. The badge comprises a small blue forget-me-not flower that indicates the person has an understanding of dementia and they can support people affected by the condition. Our staff in period costume have a lovely crochet version of the badge which is in-keeping with their costume.

Beamish museum

Every year we run a week of activities in Dementia Action Week. This not only benefits our visitors but acts as a useful refresher for staff.

Dementia Friends sessions definitely help improve the customer experience at Beamish. For example, if a visitor is struggling with change, staff know to be patient and reassure them. Our approach to welcoming people with dementia is really rewarding as we can see from the smiles on people’s faces that visiting us helps them to continue to get out and live well.”

Download the dementia-friendly tourism guide here