dementia friends


Back in May 2022, as part of Dementia Action Week, we hosted a talk by Dementia Friends Ambassador, Rob Kember. The session provided a great insight into living with dementia, not only for those who are already affected by the condition but also to those who support the Harpenden Dementia Friendly Town initiative and are keen to understand more.

We hope Rob's article below is an interesting and helpful summary of the session.

“I am a Dementia Friends Ambassador, which is a voluntary role with the Alzheimer’s Society.  I am working on, among other things, the Dementia Friends project. Dementia Friends has been running since 2012 with the aim of increasing awareness of how Dementia affects people and how we can all take simple easy actions to help people living with Dementia. As part of this role, I have been working with Harpenden Town Council to help make Harpenden a Dementia Friendly Community, for the benefit of Harpenden’s residents and visitors.

We believe that everyone should know five key facts about Dementia:

1) Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.

2) It is caused by diseases of the brain.

3) Dementia is not just about losing your memory; it can affect many of the things that we do.

4) It is possible to live well with Dementia.

5) There’s more to the person than the Dementia.

Understanding more about these facts can help us to see how simple actions can really help people living with Dementia. You can hear more about this by becoming a Dementia Friend.

I became involved because I attended an information session on Dementia Friends and learnt how the ability to carry out tasks in a sequence is affected by Dementia. The very next day, I was behind a lady who was really struggling to get cash from an ATM. At first I was getting impatient over the time she was taking, then I had a ‘lightbulb moment,’ and realised she could be living with dementia. Instead of showing impatience I gave her some time and space and reassured her that it was OK. Given time she sorted it out. Giving her some space and reassurance was all that I had to do to make that task easier for her. That experience made me realise the impact that Dementia Friends could have, and the passion to do something about it, so I decided to do the training and become a Dementia Friends Ambassador."

If you’re interested in finding out about becoming a Dementia Friend visit to the Dementia Friends website at dementiafriends@alzheimers.or.uk

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