London Stansted is helping staff better support passengers and their families affected by dementia. More than 1,000 Stansted Airport staff have become Dementia Friends and completed awareness training so they can help passengers with hidden disabilities when they travel through the airport.
Stansted is working with the Alzheimer’s Society to train all its staff, from security officers and office workers to firefighters and engineers, to become a dementia-friendly community. It’s now rolling out the scheme even further and encouraging the 200 onsite businesses to make all 12,000 people who work at the airport dementia-aware.
“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,” says Lucy Martin, Accessibility Manager, London Stansted Airport. “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 onsite companies to adopt the training too and work with us towards London Stansted being a dementia-friendly airport.”
The training looks at the whole airport environment and how it can present extra challenges to people living with dementia. It’s one of several schemes the airport has in place to make the airport accessible for people with hidden disabilities, including dementia, autism, and disabilities which aren’t obviously visible to others.
The airport uses the Sunflower Scheme, where passengers can wear an Airport Awareness Sunflower lanyard or floret available at Stansted and other UK airports, to discreetly indicate to staff that they have a hidden disability and would like additional support. Staff are trained to recognise these identifiers and offer extra help during a passenger’s journey through the terminal.