We hear from 17-year-old Casey about how becoming a Dementia Friend has highlighted ways she can offer support and inspired her to take action in different areas of her life. 

“I became a Dementia Friend as part of the National Citizen’s Service summer programme and felt immediately inspired by Angela, who ran the Session. Becoming a Dementia Friend helped me understand how dementia can affect everyone in a different way. The information in the Session was very easy for me to understand and helped me know what things can be done or should be done to help support someone who has dementia. 

“I have been personally affected by dementia as my grandad is my nan’s carer and when I go to see them, I help him care for her, allowing him time to get other things done. 

“Over the years, my nan’s dementia has worsened to the point that she can forget who me and my sisters are or can't remember things. One of the things I learnt during the Session was how dementia affects each person differently and how it progresses over time.

“I really enjoyed the Dementia friend’s Session because it is something that you can learn from, knowing ways to support someone as their carer or when out and about in public. It’s helpful to know the signs and be able to spot if someone might need help.

 “Being a Dementia Friend makes you aware of how people living with dementia may experience the world around us differently. For example, if someone got stuck in a public toilet with lots of mirrors or doors, they might not be able to find their way out. I would now know how to spot the signs of someone looking lost or confused in public and offer support.

 “I enjoyed the interactive elements of the Dementia Friends Session, the group each got given some information about a person and as Angela read a statement, they took a step forward every time the statement was relevant – this helped show how every person with dementia is different and why we shouldn’t make assumptions about what someone can and can’t do.

 “After the Session, I was inspired to do more, and worked with others to set up a fundraiser where we have raised £205 so far. We called the group Memories Matter so it can be something to represent dementia.

“I have also joined Bromley’s Dementia Friendly Community and set up an Instagram page as a way to get more information about dementia out, and to spread an awareness by sharing personal experiences, tips of how to help and facts about dementia. I hope the Instagram account can help to get the younger generation to understand and be more aware of dementia and how it affects an individual’s life.  

“Finally, something I would say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Dementia Friend is it enables you to spread information, stories, support and helpful tips. It has helped me better understand dementia and how to see the signs that someone might need help or support and that dementia affects everyone in different ways.

It is nice as a Dementia Friend to share experiences and be able to provide help for everyone.”

Click here to join Casey and over 3 million others by becoming a Dementia Friend.