Less than 24 hours after my first encounter with the phrase Dementia Friends I became one. I saw a Tweet on Sunday night, and followed the link in it to an advertisement feature about living with dementia1. That feature ended with an encouragement to become a Dementia Friend, someone who will show understanding and kindness to people living with dementia.
I followed a link from that feature to the Dementia Friends site2. And on there I found a list of face-to-face information sessions about dementia. I looked to see if there were any near me and found one the next morning, five minutes walk from my home. So on Monday morning I went to the session, learned a bit more about dementia and became a Dementia Friend.
One encouraging thing that I learned is that short term emotional memory is not as fragile as short term factual memory. So if your old auntie enjoys your visit but forgets you’ve been two minutes after you’ve left, the feeling of happiness your visit brought will stay with her longer than the memory of the visit itself. That makes being a Dementia Friend seem more worthwhile.