Dementia Friends USA is part of a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Anyone can be a Dementia Friend – we all have a part to play in creating dementia friendly communities!

A Dementia Friend is someone who, through viewing a series of online videos or attending a live interactive session, learns about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends program to visiting someone who is living with dementia, every action counts.

Ma4’s member Area Agencies on Aging in Missouri have been providing Dementia Friends Sessions since Dementia Friends USA expanded the program to Missouri in 2019. Dementia Friends USA is a part of a global movement that is changing the way people think, act and talk about dementia. Originating in the United Kingdom there are now over 3 million Dementia Friends across the globe and over 108,000 in the United States.

The vision of Dementia Friends is that each of us can make a difference for people with dementia. By learning about what it’s like to live with dementia and identifying simple actions we can take to provide support, Dementia Friends can help those living with dementia feel safe and accepted in their community.

During a Dementia Friends session, participants will learn about 5 Key Messages about dementia.

• Dementia is not a normal part of aging.

• Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.

• Dementia is not just about having memory problems.

• It is possible to have a good quality of life with dementia.

• There’s more to the person than the dementia.

After an information session a new Dementia Friend will be able to:

• Describe dementia and know the most common type of dementia

• State the five key messages about dementia

• Explain one approach to effectively communicate with a person with dementia

• Commit to an action as a Dementia Friend in your community

• Know where to turn for basic resources for those impacted by dementia

Anyone can become a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends sessions are open to anyone who wants to help people with dementia in their community.

If your business or community group is interested in holding your own session, please reach out your local AAA.