The value of a good friend

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and it can affect anyone.

Dementia is a term to describe a group of symptoms that affect how well our brains work. Dementia is different for everyone. Generally, the most common dementia symptoms include changes in memory, thinking behaviour, personality, and emotions.

The estimated incidence of dementia worldwide amounts to one new case every 3 seconds. Here in New Zealand, 4 out of 5 Kiwis will be affected by dementia in some way. Today around 70,000 New Zealanders are living with dementia, and this is expected to almost triple in coming years.

Alzheimers NZ wants to build a Dementia Friendly New Zealand, and to help do this they run a ‘Dementia Friends’ programme. The programme raises awareness about dementia to build a more understanding, kind, inclusive and supportive New Zealand.

A Dementia Friend is someone who learns a bit about what it is like to live with dementia, and also how they can help people with dementia to live well. Anyone can become a Dementia Friend.

We helped Alzheimers NZ run a Facebook promotion in April-May 2020 to get more Kiwis signing up to the Dementia Friends programme. Despite, and perhaps partially because of the lockdown, the campaign was a huge success, contributing to the following results:

  • A 10% increase in the overall Dementia Friends sign ups
  • 17% of all the website traffic came from the promotional activity
  • 42% of the users who visited the landing page, started the sign-up process
  • 21% of the users who started the sign-up process completed it

There are almost 8,000 Dementia Friends now. You can join today. It’s easy and only takes 20 minutes online.

You can find out more and become a Dementia Friend here: