WHEN Charlotte Lee trained to become a dementia friend she had little idea how much the process would benefit her.
“‘Becoming a dementia friend was a really easy process, the training was informal and didn’t take up too much time and just the small amount of guidance I learnt from it was able to impact the way I spoke to people with dementia.
The young woman, 25, from Greater Manchester says it helped improve her personal interactions with people suffering from dementia in every walk of life.
“It helped my relationship with my Grandma tremendously, and also gave me the confidence of
knowing what to do when I meet people in the community, in supermarkets and on public transport
who have dementia and may be struggling to get about their day to day living.”
The process of becoming a Dementia Friend was assisted by the Alzheimer’s Society’s programme, which was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion.
Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia, spreading awareness and or visiting someone living with dementia.
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia but not all dementia is due to Alzheimer’s. The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.
Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way. The different types of dementia tend to affect people differently, especially in the early stages.
How others respond to the person, and how supportive or enabling the person’s surroundings are, also greatly affect how well someone can live with dementia.