Stansted Airport staff trained to better support passengers with dementia
Over 1,000 members of Stansted Airport staff have been trained to become Dementia Friends in a bid to make the airport more accessible.
Credit: Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport (STN) has trained members of its staff to help improve the support offered to passengers and their families affected by dementia across the airport site.
Over 1,000 staff have undergone training to become ‘Dementia Friends’, completing awareness training that enables them to help passengers with hidden disabilities when they travel through the airport.
Working with the Alzheimer’s Society to train all of its workforce, from security officers and office workers to firefighters and engineers, Stansted Airport hopes to become a dementia-friendly community.
Accessibility Manager at London Stansted Airport, Lucy Martin, said: “We’re delighted to reach this major milestone which will help our staff better support passengers and their families affected by dementia and make their journeys as smooth and comfortable as possible. An airport can be particularly stressful for a passenger living with dementia, so we’ve teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society to make sure that they get the best support possible at every point during the airport journey. Our aim is to train all our staff across all levels and roles and encourage the 200 on-site companies to adopt the training too and work with us towards London Stansted being a dementia-friendly airport.”
The training takes the entire airport environment into account, considering how it can present extra challenges to people living with dementia. One of several schemes the airport has in place to make the airport accessible, the Dementia Friends initiative joins similar programmes to help those affected by autism and disabilities which aren’t obviously visible to others – such as the Sunflower Scheme.
Mark Neville, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator for Essex, said: “This milestone really shows a united approach at Stansted Airport. We know that busy environments, like airports, can often cause confusion and stress for people living with dementia. By having a better understanding of the condition and making adjustments, big and small, airport colleagues can make this experience much smoother. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative is the UK’s biggest programme to change people’s perception of dementia. It aims to transform the way people think, act and talk about the condition. There are now more than three million Dementia Friends across the UK, and we are delighted that the airport is part of this.”