Dementia Friends & Dementia Friends Champions
One of the ways in which we can tackle the myths and stigma and raise awareness and understanding of dementia within Powys is by creating Dementia Friends. This model has been devised by the Alzheimer’s Society as part of their nationally recognised Dementia Friends Programme. Sessions take about 45 minutes and are interactive and FUN! They can be done face-to-face or on-line and can be adapted for children as well as adults.
A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into practical action. You get lots of ideas about the actions you can take at the Dementia Friends session and you don’t have to commit to anything time-consuming. Every action counts.
Actions could include:
- Telling other people about Dementia Friends or spreading the word through social media
- Behaving more patiently with someone showing signs of dementia
- Spending more time helping or supporting a friend or relative with dementia
- Helping your work place become more dementia friendly
The list goes on…no action is too small.
Dementia Friends sessions are run by local volunteer Dementia Friends Champions who encourage others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. Dementia Matters in Powys is working to find more such Champions.
To become a Dementia Friends Champion you need to attend an induction day run by the Alzheimer’s Society. You don't need to have any particular experience or skillset to be a Dementia Friends Champion, but you do need to understand what's involved, so you are encouraged to read the link here.
Currently there are approximately 825 Dementia Friends Champions in Wales and 62,318 Dementia Friends. We need to make this number grow! The Dementia Friends initiative in Wales is supported by the Welsh Assembly and is core to the creation of dementia friendly communities.
In the video below a 61-year-old ex-nurse talks about her diagnosis at the age of 60 and how she has begun to come to terms with that and how some of the people she has come across have become Dementia Friends:
If you would like to attend a Dementia Friends session or become a Dementia Friends Champion please look on the Dementia Friends website here or contact Sam Bolam, the Dementia Friends Community Development Officer for South Powys – get in touch here.