What is Dementia Friends? – I attend a talk

I received an email which said one word “Interested?”.   It was information about a talk being given at the Derby Women’s Centre about Dementia Friends (find out more here) which is an initiative with the government and Alzheimer’s Society.

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Should I go?  Then I realised that although I knew about Dementia Friends I didn’t really know what to expect of them so decided this would be a good time to find out.

There were a good mix of people there, and I introduced myself to the speaker.   Sorry but I can’t remember her name – I am not good with names, the whole world should start wearing badges with their names on!

She was pleased that I was attending and asked if I minded talking about my own experiences, which of course I didn’t.

What an excellent morning it turned out to be.  The talk was tremendously appropriate and informative.  I can see why they are so important to be spread across Britain – everyone should have the opportunity in taking part in one.

A Dementia Friend is someone who has learnt what living with Dementia can mean to people.  Everybody has a different experience but it is important to treat everyone with the same positiveness of what they can do rather than why you think they can’t do.  Never assume someone has less capabilities than they may have.

I was asked lots of questions about how I live with it, and was able to answer about how I experience my own cognitive difficulties.   It was great to meet these people and learn about the Derby Women’s Centre.  I hope to pop in again sometime.

This was my first time in public talking to strangers about myself living with Alzheimer’s and I think they were surprised because the image is always someone who is elderly and in the later stages of the disease.

How did this make me feel being there?

It was great to learn more about what education is available to everyone regardless of who you are, where you work, age, race or religion.  Dementia has no cultural specifics, and how we educate the world should be in the same manner.   I felt like I could contribute something positive, and show that life for me good.  My glass is half full not half empty!   I felt the warmth and interest of the people there and they reached out to me.  Lovely 🙂

Author: Gill

I read books and review them. Books are my escape. I have always loved books. I write a blog, I get involved where and when I can in things I feel that are important. I also have Alzheimer's Disease but it does not define who I am. I am in the early stages so you may not notice. So, I will tell you how it is.

12 thoughts on “What is Dementia Friends? – I attend a talk”

  1. What a great experience for you and that of Dementia Friends in listening to you from your early Alzheimer’s perspective.

    And you’re so right. Nobody expects the young to have these health conditions.

    The best way anyone can live with invisible chronic illness of any kind is to concentrate of what they CAN do (not what they can’t).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so pleased it was a positive experience for you. I’ve been a Dementia Friends Champion i.e. someone who delivers DF sessions for a couple of years. Only by giving people some sense of what it’s like to live with dementia or to be close to someone who lives with dementia can we hope to create a more caring society. I can only give an arm’s length view through my experiences with Mum – you can tell it like it really is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a worthwhile thing to do Duncan. I thank you for doing this. Creating a caring society needs everyone to know and Dementia Champions are wonderful and on the frontline to achieve this. I think my journey will include being more involved in this field, although at present I am just at the beginning meeting people to help me do this. 🙂

      Like

  3. I am a dementia friend also with my husband. What a wonderful day you had and yes this kind of support is so uplifting and for me it is that I am not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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