Modeled on successful programs in the UK and Japan, Dementia Friends Canada is a nationwide campaign designed to build awareness and create positive change for those living with dementia and their loved ones.
Simply put, a Dementia Friend (DF) is someone who learns a little more about dementia and then turns that understanding into simple actions that can help people with dementia live well.
For instance; a Friend can be someone who drops by to visit or covers a shift so that a co-worker can take his or her dad to the doctor.
A Friend can be a student who shovels the snow for an older couple.
And a Friend can be someone who encourages a caregiver to take a break.
“Three out of four Canadians know someone with dementia,” says Caroline Tapp-McDougall, founder of Canada Cares. “By throwing our support behind the campaign we are recognizing that a substantial portion of the 444 million unpaid hours of care provided by family caregivers each year is for those living with dementia. It’s a huge concern and we need all the Friends we can get.”
Dementia Friends asks workplaces and retailers to sign up to become Dementia Friends to show that they are caring employers and their customer service programs are inclusive.
Watch the short video, which explains what to look for and gives tips on how to support someone living with dementia in your community. It’s simple and easy to show your support and add your name to the movement.
“We want everyone to participate and get involved! We are hoping that the media, workplaces and individuals will post our messages on their networks to get the message across,” Dementia Friends says.