IT’S a 45-minute session in which you are guaranteed to learn something invaluable about dementia.
Staff at The News offices, at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth, took part in a dementia friends session.
The interactive session takes between 45 minutes to an hour and gets people talking about the brain disease.
It was delivered by Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser and dementia friends champion Natalie Bettinson.
She said: ‘We are holding our sessions free for people to learn five key things about dementia.
‘The idea about the session is to tackle social isolation which people with dementia and their families have often said have been an issue for them.
Natalie Bettinson, dementia friends championThe idea is to tackle the stigma of dementia and educate people about the disease
‘It’s really about tackling the stigma of dementia and educating people about what the disease is all about and how no two people’s experience is the same.
‘So for instance, people learn that dementia is not a natural part of aging, which can be a common misconception.
During the session different activities are done to dispel common myths around dementia and encourage people to be more thoughtful.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘When we launched our Take Care Together campaign, the main aims were people – the general public and readers – understanding what having dementia meant.
‘It is also to show if you are a carer then you are not alone, the community is there to look after you and support you.
‘I really enjoyed the session. It was really informative and gave me an idea of what dementia is all about and the signs and how it can affect people in different ways.
‘I know as a dementia friend I have a lot more confidence of what to do in a situation, knowing what people have gone through.
‘If people can join our campaign and spread the word by becoming a dementia friend then it makes our community more caring.’
Businesses who sign up will be profiled in The News and added to our roll of honour.