2. Stand with people affected by dementia
As Alzheimer’s Society sets out on its new five-year strategy - the New Deal on Dementia - we will be creating change by campaigning for the rights of people affected by dementia in Northern Ireland and it really starts here with every one of us and our personal interest, our understanding and most importantly our action.
People with dementia often express regret that friends stop coming around or regular social events fizzle out, when they hear about their diagnosis. Sometimes it can be because the interests of the person with dementia have changed or their ability to communicate in busy, crowded places is impaired by their condition.
But sometimes it's because friends or family don’t understand dementia and how it can affect a person or they wrongly assume the person can’t still enjoy simple things like chatting over a cup of coffee or having a walk and a laugh together .
This experience can make a person feel abandoned and excluded from the social life they would enjoy and that could help keep them connected with their families and communities.
Just a little understanding, a little information and a little action by friends and family can transform the experience of a person with dementia and those close to them.
So here are three things you could do when a friend or family member is diagnosed with dementia:
- Show an interest: find out more about dementia so you understand how dementia can affect a person and ways to support them
- Show up: make contact and be prepared to listen and ‘be there’ for your friend, in different ways that suit them
- Show you care: do things with your friend, that they enjoy and at their pace.