Dementia NI, a local charity set up by five people living with dementia are reaching out to the Holywood community to help assist others that have been diagnosed with dementia. The Dementia NI message is clear - life still goes on following a diagnosis. The charity’s aim is to set up groups throughout Northern Ireland solely for people living with dementia, to meet on a regular basis, offer each other peer support through social gatherings and raise awareness about what it is like to live with the symptoms of dementia
'Many who first hear that they have dementia feel isolated, deskilled and afraid’, said Ashleigh Davis, the charity’s empowerment officer. ‘Dementia NI assist these people to remain valued citizens who can still play a beneficial part within their communities'
Members regularly give talks during Dementia NI Awareness Sessions. They challenge the stigma of having a diagnosis, dispelling preconceptions surrounding the condition and educate others about what it is like to live with dementia, in the hope that everyone will become more understanding. Whilst raising awareness of dementia, Dementia NI members bring these unique sessions to life by adding their real-life experiences of living with dementia. Their aim is to challenge the associated negative assumptions, in the hope that others will be more accepting and tolerant of the symptoms, and helpful towards people living with the condition.
"We have a very important job to do in challenging the stigma. While I have dementia, I can still do things for myself and make decisions; I just need society to allow me the time to do it in my way." - Dementia NI Member, John.
People with dementia are users of local services, therefore Dementia NI members play a vital role in influencing how to make a Dementia Friendly Holywood. Dementia NI have an established a group in Holywood specifically for people living with dementia and is reaching out to others to support people with the diagnosis within the local community.
Our members can advise community groups, shops and organisations on how they can make their facilities or service more appropriate for people with dementia to access, and how to make resources more understandable and clear. We currently participate on the Dementia Friendly Holywood steering group were our members have their voices heard, and regularly contribute to societal issues which may affect them and others living with dementia.
Through raising awareness, challenging the stigma, and enabling all those who are living with dementia to be part of community life, Dementia NI will continue to reach out and support more people living with dementia across Northern Ireland throughout their journey.
If you would like to seek advice from Dementia NI members on how to make your shop, organisation or service more suitable for people with dementia, please contact Dementia NI for more information. Dementia NI also have a range of volunteering opportunities available, we would love you to get involved.
To receive more information, provide feedback, make a donation, or support us in continuing to develop our work please contact:
Dementia NI, 54 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AZ
Telephone: 02890 68 67 68 Mobile: 07966 881 429