Becoming a Dementia Friend

Our recent patient education session entitled Becoming a Dementia Friend looked at five key messages.

These are:

  • Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
  • Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
  • Dementia is not just about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks
  • It is possible to live well with dementia
  • There is more to a person than dementia

There are over 200 different types of dementia – Alzheimer’s being only one.

Each person’s journey with dementia will be different – we can help with support and understanding – getting to know the individual.

Our memories are laid down as on a bookshelf with our early childhood memories on the bottom shelf – and our most recent on the top shelf. With Dementia we will lose the access to the shelves starting from the top – we can support by understanding where the person is on the bookshelf and therefore what they remember.

Although memories may not be there, emotions will be.

One of the exercises we did was to match each half of the sentence:

Have a go (answers below)

1/ Dementia is not

2/ Dementia is caused

3/ One common type of dementia is

4/ Dementia is progressive, which means

5/ Alzheimer’s disease usually starts

6/ Dementia is not just about

7/ Dementia can also affect

8/ People with dementia

9/ At one time, 1 in 14 people

10/ It is possible

11/ There is more to a person than

12/ Dementia Friends is about


A – turning understanding into action

B – a natural part of ageing

C – can still communicate effectively

D – the symptoms will gradually get worse

E – people’s perception

F – the dementia

G – over 65 has dementia

H – to live well with dementia

I – by diseases of the brain

J – Alzheimer’s disease

K – by affecting people’s short term memory

L – losing your memory

Answers below:

(1-b, 2 – I, 3 – J, 4 – D, 5 – K, 6-L, 7 – E, 8 – C, 9- G, 10 – H, 11- F , 12 – A)