Volunteers become Dementia Friends

A group of warm-hearted people have become Dementia Friends, spending time enriching the lives of people living with dementia at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre.

Some of the regular volunteers at the care centre recently indicated that they would like to learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In response to that request, Rand Aid social worker Debbie Beech conducted two ‘Dementia Friends’ sessions for about 20 volunteers in August.

 Dementia Friends is an initiative that was started in the UK to raise awareness and change the way people think, act and talk about dementia.

There are five key Dementia Friends messages:

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

The sessions were warmly received and volunteers came away feeling much more enlightened about the disease. They committed to joining the initiative and  becoming a Dementia Friend.

There are plans to offer more Dementia Friends sessions to care workers and residents in the near future.

Volunteers at the Ron Smith Care Centre assist in a number of ways, from helping with the walking, music, games, baking and arts and crafts activities, to visiting lonely residents and brightening their day. Volunteers work with all residents and not just those living with dementia.

Volunteer needed to teach computer skills

Currently, a volunteer to teach computer skills is required. For more information, contact Debbie Christen by email at dchristen@randaid.co.za




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