Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. Around 80 percent of us know or have known someone with dementia - a friend, whanau member, colleague or neighbour.
Dementia is one of New Zealand’s most significant and growing social and healthcare issues. But there is still stigma, discrimination, and a misunderstanding associated with it.
Developing the right support and helping to create a kinder, more inclusive community for the 70,000 people Kiwis living with dementia today can’t wait. That’s where Alzheimers NZ’s Dementia Friends programme comes in.
What does a Dementia Friend do?
A Dementia Friend learns about dementia and simple ways to help. It only takes 20 minutes online. Being a Dementia Friend doesn’t have to take lots of your time. Your action can be as simple as being kind and helpful to people during your day, wearing the badge or wristband or dropping round for a cuppa and a chat with someone living with dementia. Simple, small actions really do help.
As one of our Dementia Friends told us:
“I work as a housekeeper in a retirement village Special Care Unit - the residents have dementia. It is so good to be a Dementia Friend because even though it is not my ‘primary job’ to look after them since I am a housekeeper, being a Dementia Friend and wearing a badge and a wristband makes the residents aware that I am also always there for them - be it someone who they can talk to, who can help and assist them with anything, or any other things that I can do to be of help to them.
How do I become a Dementia Friend?
Go to alzheimers.org.nz and follow the links to complete the short, online programme. You will also receive a certificate and a free badge or wristband in the post.