Why Dementia Friends is so important to break down barriers

The Dementia Friends initiative is a very special thing it’s about breaking down the barriers and misconceptions that surround this illness. The layout and training you receive is excellent. The first part of the training day is to make you a Dementia friend, once you’ve accomplished that it’s on with the training. It’s a very easy format with just enough information without sensory overload. It’s quick and to the point without becoming too technical or boring. A selection of activities are also used to illustrate the problems people with dementia have in their daily living routines, reiterating the five points about dementia, which are :-

  1. It’s not a part of getting old
  2. It’s caused by diseases of the brain – the most common being Alzheimer’s
  3. It’s not just about losing your memory
  4. People can live well with dementia with the right support and understanding
  5. There is more to the person than the dementia

The message of Dementia Friends came across really strongly and everyone was so enthusiastic. It’s a fantastic and simple idea that will make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia. It’s all about getting the message out there and expelling the myths and preconceptions that revolve around people with this condition.

By going around as many people and groups as we can we will be helping to improve the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and allow them to live normal lives for longer which in turn allows them more time at home with their loved ones, keeping people out of homes and saving the NHS millions! It has now rolled out to Wales where we attended the launch and actually ran an info session for Lloyd’s Bank for ITV in the morning prior. Watch the ITV interview here.

So it’s up to us to take responsibility to change the attitude towards dementia; by becoming “aware” we can shift previous stigmas and misconceptions, creating a dementia aware society and creating dementia friendly communities.

By becoming Dementia Friends Champions, we (the wife and I) hope to play a part in this huge social action movement, and create 100′s of dementia friends.

It is estimated that there are over 45,500 people living with dementia in Wales; two-thirds of them live in the community. Yet sadly they don’t feel part of our community, but with help and support people with dementia can play an active part for sometimes many years.
It’s all about turning understanding into action, it’s about educating people.

As I said earlier the wife, Jayne, and I do our sessions together – as a team. Why you may ask, well it’s a necessity :-

  1. It’s different, people quite enjoy the towing and frowing!
  2. We work well together; we’re a team in the house and out!

But the biggest reason, is that she is there to support me because at the young- ish age of 52 years, I have Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s, a form of mixed dementia, so if I can be a Dementia Friends Champion any of you can do it! So please do! So you see it is possible to live with dementia, especially when you have understanding and support! Which is what Dementia Friends is all about and which is why we enjoy being part of this fabulous initiative.

Chris Roberts

Dementia Friends Champion

28 thoughts on “Why Dementia Friends is so important to break down barriers

  1. Denise Lomax

    I am very interested in helping with this cause could you please contact me on the above email address. Thankyou!

  2. Susan Kelf

    I am a carer for my father in law and spend at least 20 hrs a week looking after him but appreciate all the help we get from social services and the day centre dad goes to .there is help out there you only have to ask .Good look with the site . xxxxx

  3. Sandra Parsons

    My husband has Parkinson’s dementia, I have recently sold my business to be there for him. Every day brings different issues, some days are good others are trying for both of us. To have this organisation bringing dementia into the open, in the hope that more people will recognise and understand it, is a breakthrough.
    If there were more I could do to help, I would be only to willing to offer my help.
    Sandra Parsons

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for your comment and for your support.

      If you are at all interested in becoming a Dementia Champion, a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community, then you can find more details here: http://alzheimers.dementiafriends.org.uk/WEBArticle?page=what-is-a-champion#.U33ZtqVGVQE

      You may also want to visit the Alzheimer’s Society website, where you can search for services and support groups in your local area: http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200121 or alternatively you could call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122

  4. Linda North

    You really don’t know what is in the future. My Mother had Dementia and we grew closer during her time she had left than we had ever been.

  5. DONNA

    im very intrested in your advert to do with dementia, I used to be a carer and wood love to be part of this

  6. Catherine Dawson

    I am interested in becoming a DementiaFriend and would like more information. my landline number is 01389873555.

    ThankYou.

  7. pat

    My husband was diagnosed with dementia 12 years ago I wish this help had been out there then well done keep up the good work.

  8. Marlene o brien

    I am marlene, my husband ray is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s , after a horrible 5yrs at the time I was being treated for breast cancer ,we are now coping but I find about a couple days a mth I feel like walking away the stress builds up and there is no one to talk to people see us as getting by I make sure we go on bus trips ,the train , the shops , but it’s all about ray I feel so alone he retired early as a headmaster of 21yrs I miss the strong person at my side I have to be …I can’t finish this I’m sorry…

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Marlene,

      You may want to visit the Alzheimer’s Society’s online forum ‘Talking Point’ where you can ask for advice, share information, join in discussions and feel supported:http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200125

      Or you could also call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 who can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

  9. Barbara

    My brothers wife has been diagnosed with dementia and he is very lonely as he finds it difficult to come to terms with all that has happened around him,it’s very difficult to understand this illness.

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for you comment. You and your brother may find it helpful to visit the Alzheimer’s Society’s online forum ‘Talking Point’ where you can ask for advice, share information, join in discussions and feel supported:http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200125

      Or you could also call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 who can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

  10. Emma

    Hi, i’m currently 19 years old and my dad is 62 and has fronto-temperal dementia he’s had it for about 3 years now. He stayed at home for about 1 year, and then moved to a residential care home for a year and is now in a nursing care home. I’ve come to realise more carers need further training in dementia, at 19 and completing my level 3 health and social care i’d be able to go into this sector and care for a dementia patient, how is this even right? Some individuals are there for a salary, at the end of the day they need to care for somebody who may not be able to tell them how they are feeling or what they want. For instance; today my dad had had nothing to eat because apparently he was asleep this morning for breakfast and this afternoon he ‘wouldn’t eat’. But with a little bit of patience I was able to get him to have a yogurt and En-sure drink. How can anybody leave a 6ft2 man with diabetes have nothing to eat all day? Things need to change, dementia is becoming more common with more challenging individuals!

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or Dementia Champion in order to encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community, please do visit http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk

  11. Sarah Farquhar

    I have seen the adverts on the TV and came to the site hoping to find out a bit more about what dementia friends is, what is involved and how I might be able to help.
    Was a little disappointed not to be able to find out any of that sort of information, would love to know more

    1. Dementia Friends Post author

      Hi Sarah, you can find out more about Dementia Friends at our website: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/. You can watch a short video to become a Dementia Friend and then attend a face-to-face session and or attend Dementia Friends Champions training so that you can run Dementia Friends Information Sessions and spread awareness of dementia in your community.

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