Dementia Friends Programme
Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends programme is their biggest ever initiative to change people's perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Stigma and lack of understanding cause many people with the condition to experience loneliness and social exclusion, so Dementia Friends hopes to tackle this by creating more communities and businesses that are dementia-friendly and more inclusive of people affected by dementia.
A Dementia Friend is someone who either:
- attends an Information Session, or
- watches the Dementia Friends online video.
They learn five key messages about dementia, a little bit about what it is like to live with dementia and the turn their understanding into practical action that could help someone with dementia living in their community. Their action could be as big or as small as they choose - because every action counts!
An Information Session is a face-to-face session that lasts 45-60 minutes and is run by a Dementia Friend Champion, which anyone can attend to learn a little more about dementia. It covers the five key message everyone should know about dementia through activities and discussion, but it is not training. Anyone who attends is asked to commit to a dementia friendly action and is able to become a Dementia Friend
A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who runs Information Sessions for people in their personal networks or communities, giving them information about the personal impact of dementia and what they can do to help. Dementia Friends Champions attend a volunteer induction and then organise their own Information Sessions, with support from their Regional Support Officer.