Coronavirus: Join our campaign for support in society

Find out more about our campaign to make sure people with dementia have access to food, medication and essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alzheimer’s Society has received reports of people with dementia having difficulty accessing food, being denied priority services, and having to break isolation to visit supermarkets and pharmacies, risking exposure.

We are working to ensure this vulnerable group is not forgotten on local or national registers by Government and in local authority support schemes.

Our campaign priorities

  • Ensuring retailers understand their legal obligation to consider the shopping needs of people affected by dementia and other vulnerable groups
  • Calling for government, local authorities and retailers to commit to continuing to support people affected by dementia to access food, even as lockdown measures ease
  • Calling for retailers to improve their priority services and ensure everyone who needs them are aware of them
  • Improving the confidence people affected by dementia have to go shopping by ensuring supermarkets are communicating their support clearly
  • Campaigning for better awareness in the general public that not everyone will be able to socially distance or be able to wear a mask, and encouraging them to be more considerate of hidden disabilities

Partnership working

Alzheimer’s Society are hearing from people with dementia who are having difficulty getting to the shops or accessing food. We are concerned that this potentially vulnerable group are being forgotten on local or national registers by government, potentially risking missing out on food deliveries or support schemes.

We are working alongside key partners including British Retail Consortium, Age UK, MS Society, Dementia UK and others calling on government and supermarkets, to unite to ensure people affected by dementia, along with other disabilities and vulnerabilities, are considered in priority systems being developed by government.

We have regular meetings with the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the major retailers to discuss these asks in further detail, and are working with them to ensure they are enacted as soon as possible.

Successes so far:

We have been working closely with DEFRA and supermarkets to ensure they are providing essential support for people affected by dementia .

We have had a number of big successes over the last few months. These include:

  • We have secured the government's commitment that people with dementia, their families and carers get priority support from local authorities, supermarkets and the NHS Volunteer Responders.
  • We have ensured local authorities' definition of 'non-shielded vulnerable' people specifically includes 'people with dementia' and 'unpaid carers'. This means people affected by dementia are included in the Local Support System that has been developed by government and local authorities.
  • We have worked with supermarkets to make sure changes on priority systems are consistently communicated out to, and implemented in, all supermarkets and shops.
  • We have received commitments from retailers to continue to support people affected by dementia even as lockdown measures are easing and continued communication on the challenges being faced.

We continue to push for further action and clarity as the situation is evolving.

How you can help

In this changing, fast-moving environment, we want to make sure that our campaign reflects the needs of people affected by dementia at all times.

If you have experienced issues within your community related to the new Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions, we want to hear from you.

We have more information about how to access food. If you are concerned about someone accessing food or medication please refer them to their local authority. If they have difficulty getting a delivery slot, you can complete the NHS Volunteers scheme form to ask for groceries or medicine to be delivered at home.

Share your story

Help support our campaign by sharing your experiences of dementia during the coronavirus pandemic.

Email us

Read about our other coronavirus campaigns

  • Support in social care - campaigning for the Government to support our social care system, and those who rely on it.
  • Support in the NHS - campaigning for everyone with dementia to have access to critical care.
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