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How our UK business is fighting against dementia

Dementia is a growing, global challenge. As the population ages, it has become one of the most important health and care issues facing the world. Our business in the UK recognises that this is a huge concern, and is committed to playing its part in creating a more dementia friendly society.

In April 2015, Celesio UK became an official corporate partner with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland. Over the last three years our colleagues have raised close to €450,000 and this is funding vital research to help understand the development of dementia.

It has been reported that in the UK alone, there are 850,000 people living with dementia. And numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025, soaring to 2 million by 2051. The economic cost related with the condition is estimated at £23 billion a year and is predicted to triple by 2040.

Recently, our CEO, Brian Tyler and members of the UK Board had the privilege of meeting Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society. Jeremy spoke about the worrying impact the disease is having on the UK population and how 1 in 3 people born in the country this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. He also raised awareness of the risk of how Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which often increases with age. It affects an estimated 1 in 14 people over the age of 65, and 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80.

Raising dementia awareness

As part of the meeting, Brian and the UK Board all became Dementia Friends, a campaign that our UK business is currently promoting amongst all colleagues. Becoming a Dementia Friend means learning more about what it's like to live with dementia and then turning that understanding into action. Currently there are 18,000 Dementia Friends across Celesio UK and our goal is to reach 20,000 this summer.

80% of Celesio UK’s Dementia Friends are made up of colleagues who work for LloydsPharmacy. Every day, they deal with thousands of people who are either living with the condition or care for those who have it. Therefore, signing up to become a Dementia Friend has been incorporated into their training and induction programme. This fits entirely with our company belief in inspiring more positive lives, reflecting the care and respect we show to our customers and patients every day. Colleagues even wear the forget-me-not pin badge to show their commitment.

Lloydspharmacy stores as dementia friendly hubs

Our Lloydspharmacy stores are predominately based on local high streets. This presence amongst the local community makes them ideal and accessible dementia friendly hubs. It is known that risk factors associated with dementia include high cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes and our colleagues have the expertise in these areas to help patients reduce their risk of developing dementia.

Together, we hope to build dementia friendly communities across the whole of the UK.