Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect us all. Because public understanding is so poor, people with dementia often feel – and are – misunderstood, marginalised and isolated. And that means that they’re less likely to be able to live independently in their own communities.
We need to create a climate of kindness and understanding so that everyone affected by dementia feels part of, not apart from, society.
Our Dementia Friends initiative is doing just that. It’s the biggest ever movement to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia. And you can be a part of it.
Need further convincing? Take a look at our top 6 reasons for becoming a Dementia Friend.
Why should you become a Dementia Friend?
1. Learn about dementia and how it affects a person’s life
What is it actually like to live with dementia? How does it affect someone’s life day-today? When you become a Dementia Friend, you’ll learn about the real-life impact of the condition and the small actions we can all take to help.
2. Become more confident when spending time with someone with dementia
73% of people who have become Dementia Friends say they now feel more confident interacting with people affected by dementia.
Katie Harrison, whose mother lives with Alzheimer’s disease said:
Becoming a Dementia Friend has helped me understand the day-to-day realities of dementia and how I can adapt my mum’s environment to accommodate her needs.’
Now even my children, who are only 12 and 10, would know if someone with dementia is struggling and they aren’t afraid to help, which has made a huge difference to my mum’s wellbeing.’
3. Help people affected by dementia to stay active
Many people with dementia experience a loss of self-confidence and become less active in their community.
You can help change this by learning about dementia and understanding what actions can help people to stay an active part of their community. That way, people with dementia can continue to take part and do the things they love like visiting a museum, going shopping or having a chinwag at the local pub!
4. Reduce the stigma around dementia
‘I don’t want to make anyone feel awkward.’ ‘Let’s just leave it.’ ‘I don’t want to talk about it…’
We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about dementia. And people affected by the condition shouldn’t be ashamed to tell others about their experience.
By becoming a Dementia Friend, you’ll be encouraging us all to start talking about dementia openly and honestly.
5. Challenge misconceptions of the disease
Dementia is just for old people, right? Wrong. It’s not a natural part of ageing, it affects more than someone’s memory and it’s possible to live well with the condition.
You can challenge the many myths that surround dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend.
6. Join over 2 million people who are taking action
One in every 30 people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are part of the biggest ever social action movement to change perceptions of dementia.
That’s an estimated 166,666 hours spent by Dementia Friends, taking on actions to help people with dementia. The equivalent of 19 years!
You too can join the Dementia Friends movement. From contributing to the growing number of Dementia Friendly Communities to spending more time with a neighbour who has dementia, every single action counts. Every single one.
Be a part of the Dementia Friend movement
Already a Dementia Friend? Leave a comment and let us know why you signed up!