We want to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to become Dementia Friends. The Dementia Friends team is developing a number of different resources to help Dementia Friends Champions meet the needs of audiences who may have specific requirements.
The four different audiences currently being looked at are:
- People with learning disabilities
- People from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups (BAME)
- People with additional needs (e.g., visual impairment, BSL, hearing impairment, impaired movement)
- People living with dementia and carers of people living with dementia
Aimee Packwood, Regional Support Officer for the South West of England, is focussing on groups with learning disabilities:
‘We are looking at developing new resources and guidance for adults with learning disabilities, including easy read materials, so that Champions can run sessions tailored to people with different needs, but with the flexibility to adapt the session according to the group. Get in touch if you would like to know more about our resources or run sessions for adults with learning disabilities!’
Dementia Friends Champion David Truswell has been helping with the pilots of the BAME resources:
‘There are a lot of people from minority communities who think dementia doesn’t affect their communities. They see the TV campaigns as being about something that will never happen to them, because no one from their community is seen in the campaigns. When running a Session at the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, I asked through our Cantonese interpreter if people with dementia could play mah jong rather than bingo and that’s when they realised we were talking about Chinese people living with dementia.’
Keeley Waldron, Regional Support Officer for the Midlands, has been working on the resources for delivering to people living with dementia and carers:
‘When developing the resources, we’ve been working with Champions to get their experiences of delivering Sessions to people living with dementia and carers. Champion Christine West delivered a Session for the pilot and said: ‘At the end of the Information Session, I was extremely touched when a lady with dementia approached me and thanked me for delivering the Information Session in such a positive way.’
The new resources and guidance are currently being piloted and, once ready, Champions will be able to access them from their Champions dashboard on the Dementia Friends website. Look out for further updates in the near future.