Dementia Friends FAQ

What is a Dementia Friend?

A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it's like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Anyone can be a Dementia Friend. From helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia on social media, every action counts.

What is a Dementia Friends Champion?

A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. Champions attend a training session and are part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities.To become a Champion you need to attend a Champions' training session.

I don’t know anyone with dementia, can I still be involved?

Yes. A Dementia Friend or Dementia Friends Champion is someone who has a better understanding of dementia, will know how to act more sympathetically towards people with dementia in their communities and workplaces, and has undertaken to take practical actions to help people with dementia. If you don't know someone with dementia, your practical action could be to spread the word about the Dementia Friends initiative or to help someone who is looking confused to find the right bus, every action counts.

Will I need to befriend someone with dementia?

No, the Dementia Friends is not a befriending initiative. A Dementia Friend or Dementia Friends Champion is someone who has a better understanding of dementia, will know how to act more sympathetically towards people with dementia in their communities and workplaces, and has undertaken to turn that understanding into action to help people with dementia feel included in their communities.

Can I get involved if I have lots of commitments?

Taking on a volunteering commitment is difficult if you have lots of commitments. If these are your circumstances, it could be that being a Dementia Friends Champion is not right for you at the moment. However, you can still register now to become a Dementia Friend, and you can register as a Dementia Friends Champion at a later point.

What happens after I have booked on the Dementia Friends Champions' training?

You will be contacted by a trainer from the Alzheimer's Society who will be taking your session and who will then give you more information. You will be asked to do an e-learning module before you attend the training to give you some basic information about dementia. You don't need to have any existing knowledge about dementia to book a place on the Champions' training course.

What will happen at the Dementia Friends Champions' training course?

Dementia Friends Champions' training courses are run across England by the Alzheimer's Society. Each session lasts for one day, although you may be able to do your training course in two half days or over two evenings. You will learn about dementia and how it affects people, and the practical actions that Dementia Friends can take that could help someone with dementia living in their community. You will learn how to run Dementia Friends' information sessions to inspire other people to become Dementia Friends. During the training session you will also get lots of information to help you understand how to answer people's questions about dementia and the sources of further information and support you can direct them to.

What happens if I don’t pass the training?

Most people who sign up for Champions' training will go on to become successful Champions. However, this role isn't right for everyone and you may decide after the training that it isn't right for you. The trainer may also think that your skills and experience would be better suited to getting involved in other ways. If this is the case, there are lots of other ways you can be involved in the initiative as a Dementia Friend and support people living with dementia.

What sort of resources will I have to support me as a Dementia Champion?

Once you are a Dementia Champion, you will be able to access specially prepared resources to support you to run a Dementia Friends information session from the Alzheimer’s Society website
There are PowerPoint presentations for those people who want to use them but there will also be informal exercises, quiz sheets, suggestions for book club and reading sessions, bingo sheets, and sample talks and sermons. These resources are constantly being developed by the Alzheimer’s Society .

Why do I need to take part in a Dementia Friends' information session?

An important part of the Dementia Friends initiative is to raise awareness of dementia and the different ways it affects people and getting people together in a room with a trained volunteer Champion is an effective way of doing this. Friends' information sessions also provide a great way of meeting other people in your community who want to be Dementia Friends, some of whom you may want to stay in touch with after the information session.

What will happen at a Dementia Friends' information session?

Friends' information sessions are run by a Dementia Friends Champion, a volunteer who has passed the Dementia Friends Champions' training run by Alzheimer's Society. The Dementia Friends Champion will give you information about dementia, the sorts of practical things that you can do to help, and how you can register the actions that you decide to take after your Friends' information session on this website. You will also get to meet other Dementia Friends in your community.