“One of the things that happens when people complete the programme is they hear from three Kiwis who have dementia. They’re kind of blown away because often the mental image they have of dementia is people living
in a secure care setting. In reality that’s not usually the case. For example, Helen, one of the three people profiled in the Dementia Friends programme, goes to the gym every day, Alister is a cyclist and has competed in the gruelling K2 race, and Rita spends as much time as she can with her whānau and mokopuna.
Over 70 per cent of people with dementia live in the community for most of their time with the condition. They shop, work, eat out, catch the bus, go to the library and do everything else we all enjoy doing. But most people don’t think about dementia that way. So, Dementia Friends is designed to raise awareness across the country, to engage individuals in the dementia friendly cause, and to make them see how it’s possible to help people living with dementia around them.”
Cubro’s Aged Care Key Account Manager, Jamie Abercrombie, says his fellow Aged Care Account Managers and the marketing team have now all become Dementia Friends, and the aim is for all Cubro employees to complete the course by the end of 2021.
“There are a number of reasons why we felt this was an important step. We want to raise confidence and understanding among our employees when entering Aged Care facilities, particularly dementia units. It’s important our
staff are friendly, accepting and supportive of people living with dementia. “We also want to demonstrate to our
customers that as Dementia Friends we are aware of, responsive to, and respectful of the diversity of their needs.”
Alzheimers NZ would love to see ‘the team of five million’ also sign up to be Dementia Friends so, together, we can
create a more supportive community environment and a Dementia Friendly Aotearoa New Zealand.
Find out more about the Dementia Friends programme at alzheimers.org.nz