Dementia Friends are those who learn about the disease, challenge misconceptions, create awareness and help preople with Dementia in their communities. Dementia Friends can identify those with Dementia in their circles and encourage them to seek medical advice. They spend time with persons with Dementia and advise families on the care needed. Dementia Friends can also help create support groups and get involved through volunteering, campaigning or wearing a badge to raise awareness.
Dementia Friends Movement is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the world thinks, acts and talks about the condition. The Dementia Friends program is a global movement started by the Alzheimer's Society of England and Wales. Over the years, this movement has grown to have over 17 million Dementia Friends around the world and more than 50 Dementia Friends Programs in over 45 countries.
Javagal Srinath, former Indian Cricketer and current ICC referee, is the Campaign Ambassador for this movement in India.
The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.
When doctors think that a person may have dementia, they try to work out which illness is causing the problems. Each illness can affect a different part of the brain at first. Some people might have problems with their memory or behaviour to begin with. Others might have problems speaking or seeing what or where things are.
Dementia can affect anybody – male or female, wealthy or poor – from any part of the world. However, dementia mostly affects older people, and the risk of dementia increases with increasing age. Approximately 1 in 70 people aged 65-69 have dementia. Nearly 1 in 4 people aged 85-89 have dementia.
Dementia Friends share about Dementia whenever, wherever and to whoever they can. They may talk to others about it over coffee, or while plaing a game, or post photos and posts on social media.
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing, it affects more than someone's memory andit is possible to live well with the condition. People shouldn't be afraid to visit a Psychiatrist. And people affected by the condition shouldn't be ashamed to tell others about their experience.
Nightingales Medical Trust and many other organizations working in the field of Dementia regularly organize events and programs. Dementia Friends lend their time and energies to spread awareness at theses events.
You see someone wearing a purple badge? That's a Dementia Friend. They wear their badge with pride and do not shy away from telling anyone why they wear it.
There are many elderly persons with Dementia living alone who enjoy visits from a Dementia Friend. Many families too seek a break to run to the store for some personal shopping or running some errands. Dementia Friends step in to help whenever they are needed.
There are many more ways that Dementia Friends lend their time, knowledge and energies to change the way the world thinks and acts about Dementia.
Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT) is a registered not-for-profit organization providing various innovative need-based support systems for the well-being of Senior Citizens and persons with dementia. Our major projects include 98 bed Dementia Care facility, 49 bed Telemedicine enabled Dementia Care facility, 25 bed Residential Dementia Care exclusively for women, 4 Dementia Day Care and 2 Elders Enrichment Centres, 2 Dementia Risk Reduction Programs, Home for Destitute elderly women, Elders Helpline and Jobs 60+.
Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) is a registered national, non-profit voluntary organization engaged in the care, support, training and research of dementia since it's inception in 1992. ARDSI has been in the forefront to disseminate knowledge about dementia to the public through various forums and is actively involved in developing services for family members, doctors, nurses and social workers and promote research.
Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India, Bangalore Chapter, is a non-profit organization registered in 2006. Eminent and committed persons are on the Board as Patrons and committee members. The Chapter strives to generate the necessary awareness and create appropriate support systems for the patients and the care giving family members through networking with other NGOs and governmental agencies. Besides these, we have set up support groups, training of professional caregivers, promoting research, camps for dementia screening, rehabilitation services, subsidizing the cost of care for needy people with dementia.