Dementia Friends South Africa

Alzheimer’s Society UK’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. Alzheimer’s South Africa is launching a pilot programme in the Western Cape before it puts the programme out to the rest of the country. The programme aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Anybody can become a Dementia Friend. It’s about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition. This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay. Every action counts.

There are two ways to become a Dementia Friend. The first is to attend a face-to-face Information Session in your community. Alternatively, you can become a Dementia Friend by watching our online video.

If you work for a company and would like your company to become dementia friendly, please let us know. We are already working with three companies who are putting groups of their staff through dementia friends training.

The online video

You can also become a Dementia Friend by watching our online video where you will meet Gina who is living with dementia and learn more about what it is like to live with the condition.

Volunteer as a Champion

Dementia Friends Champions are trained volunteers who encourage others to learn about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. Champions run Dementia Friends Information Sessions in their community and inspire others to help those living with dementia live well. The Champions induction lasts for one day and you will learn about dementia and how it affects people, and the practical actions that Dementia Friends can take that could help someone with dementia living in their community. You will learn how to run Dementia Friends Information Sessions to inspire other people to become Dementia Friends and help to create dementia friendly communities.

Do you live outside of the Western Cape?
The face to face Dementia Friends information session is currently being piloted in the Western Cape only. Following the pilot we aim to roll the programme out across South Africa. If you would like to register your interest to be kept up to date on when Dementia Friends will come to you please contact Jill Robson at managerwc@alzheimers.org.za The online programme is available now throughout South Africa.

FAQ’s

What is a Dementia Friend?
To become a Dementia Friend, you participate in a one-hour Dementia Friends Information Session presented by a Dementia Friends Champion. You will learn five key messages about dementia and a bit about what it’s like to live with dementia. As a Dementia Friend, you turn your new understanding of dementia into a practical action that can help someone living in your community. Your action can be big or small – because every action counts!
What Happens at a Dementia Friends Information Session?
The one-hour Information Session is an in-person experience run by a Dementia Friends Champion. It is not a formal training. The session has activities and discussion that cover the five key messages everyone should know about dementia.  Everyone who attends is asked to do a dementia-friendly action as part of becoming a Dementia Friend.
Who can be a Dementia Friend?
Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over when attending a Dementia Friends Information Session.
What is a Dementia Friend Champion?
A Dementia Friends Champion participates in a Champions training. The Champions can then present one-hour Dementia Friends sessions to friends, family, colleagues and the wider community.
What sort of actions can I take to help someone living with dementia?
You don’t have to commit to doing something time-consuming – every action counts.
You might…

  • Get in touch and stay in touch with someone you know living with dementia
  • Volunteer for an organisation that helps people with dementia
  • Campaign for change to improve the lives of those living with dementia
  • Wear your badge and tell five friends about Dementia Friends
  • Or come up with your own action!

Register to be a Dementia Friend Online

Our Dementia Friends programme focuses on five key messages that we believe everyone should know about dementia:

  1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.
  2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.
  3. It is not just about losing your memory.
  4. It’s possible to live well with dementia.
  5. There is more to the person than the dementia.

You need to:

1. Watch the online video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYckSvnMys0

2. Choose your action:

  • Get in touch and stay in touch with someone you know living with dementia
  • Volunteer for an organisation that helps people with dementia
  • Campaign for change to improve the lives of those living with dementia
  • Wear your badge and tell five friends about Dementia Friends
  • Or come up with your own action!

3. Complete the registration form below.

Fill in the registration form below to be a Dementia Friend

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