Call Dementia NI 028 9693 1555

Our members are the heart of our charity.

As a Dementia NI member, you can join your local Empowerment Group. Meet other people with dementia. Share your experiences. Support one another.

Dementia NI members

Who is Dementia NI membership for?

Dementia NI membership is for people living in Northern Ireland with a diagnosis of dementia. Membership is free and we welcome members from all backgrounds, of any adult age and with any type of dementia.

Our policy is to be open to as many new members as possible. Sadly, membership will not be suitable for every individual with dementia. You can only become a Dementia NI member if you:

Have a formal diagnosis of dementia

Are in the earlier stages of dementia progression

Are able to manage your continence care independently

Are open to talking about your diagnosis

If you fit this criteria and are therefore eligible for membership, you can be referred to our Empowerment Team.

We will require formal confirmation of your diagnosis. Taking this into consideration, we ask that your GP, consultant, dementia navigator - or other health professional who has access to your medical notes regarding your diagnosis - makes a referral on your behalf.

They can do this using our Health Professional Referral Form provided at the link below.

For healthcare professionals making a referral:

If you are a health professional supporting a person with dementia and would like to make a referral on their behalf, please use this online form: Health Professional Referral Form.

You'll need to provide confirmation of the person's diagnosis.

The form will be reviewed by a member of our Empowerment team who'll be in touch at the earliest opportunity to discuss circumstances and next steps with the individual who has been referred.

Note: we cannot confirm that the support we offer will be suitable for all individuals and each submission will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

For people with dementia enquiring about self-referral or family members/carers:

If you are a person with dementia who is interested in self-referring - or if you are a family member/carer who wishes to enquire about referring a person on their behalf - you can call us on 028 9693 1555 or fill in this online form: Contact Us Form.

You'll be asked to provide formal confirmation of your/their diagnosis before joining.

Read on to find out more about the benefits of becoming a member and the support we offer.

Benefits of becoming a Dementia NI member:

Our members tell us that joining Dementia NI enables them to make friends, feel less isolated and be part of a community. It helps them to rebuild confidence after a diagnosis.

You can access our In The Same Boat service, whereby established members offer one-to-one peer support to new members.

As a member, you can join your local Empowerment Groups to meet other members and consult with local services.

Our Buddy Scheme helps restore lost self-esteem by enabling members to learn new skills or re-establish old ones, supported by other people with a diagnosis.

Our members can get involved in a host of dementia inclusive activities that enable peer support, from reading groups to choirs to sporting activities.

You'll be invited to work on interesting projects, including research and service improvement, with the NI health trusts, Queen's University and other partners.

You'll have the opportunity to become a part of our Member Forum and to vote for other members or yourself to become a Trustee.

Our members are given the chance to help us challenge stigma and change the lives of local people with dementia.

Attend our Annual General Meeting, hear about Dementia NI's vision for the future and meet other members from across Northern Ireland.

You'll receive a warm welcome, including details of how to get the best out of your membership and your very own membership card.

Read Davie's membership story

Read Davie's membership story

“Being a Dementia NI member means working to make things better for people living with dementia”

Read more

Contact the Empowerment team

Questions about becoming a member? Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below. If your query isn't listed here, you can contact us at or on 028 9693 1555.

Membership FAQs

Membership is only open to those who live in Northern Ireland and have been formally diagnosed with dementia. Membership is not open to family and friends. For more detailed criteria, see the 'Who is Dementia NI membership for?' section above.

As a member of Dementia NI, you'll have the opportunity to attend your local Empowerment Group. These Groups provide a place where people living with dementia are able to come together on a regular basis to offer one another friendship and support. This is often over a cup of tea or coffee and a nice bun.

Empowerment Groups are usually held monthly for approximately two hours in a relaxed informal environment. However there are many other activities which provide opportunities for members to meet up between the Groups.

During the Empowerment Groups there will always be a Dementia NI staff member and volunteers on hand to support you. We regularly host visitors who may ask for your opinions and experiences on topics related to living with dementia.

Your level of participation will be within your personal boundaries and comfort. Dementia NI members report an improved level of confidence and a development of their skills through attending the Groups. Ultimately, we want you to feel comfortable and at ease and empowered.

Dementia NI also offers support after a diagnosis through our In The Same Boat service, whereby established members offer one-to-one peer support to new members.

In addition, we provide a Buddy Scheme that aims to rebuild confidence after a diagnosis and enables our members to either learn new skills or re-establish old ones, with the support of other people with a diagnosis.

You'll be invited to work on interesting projects, including research and service improvement, with the NI Health and Social Care Trusts across Northern Ireland, Queen's University, Ulster University and other partners.

Our members are given the opportunity to help deliver awareness raising sessions to educate the public on dementia and what it is like to live with the symptoms. You will be able to attend events in shopping centres, community spaces, schools and colleges, where you will have the opportunity to talk about your daily life to members of the public.

There are many other dementia-inclusive activities and projects you can get involved in as a member of Dementia NI. Please see our 'Benefits of becoming a Dementia NI member' section above for more details.

As a member of Dementia NI you are not compelled or required to attend our Empowerment Groups.

Not everyone feels comfortable in a group and there are many opportunities for those who feel a group environment is not for them.

If being part of a group doesn't appeal to you, you may still be able to get involved in our campaigns and projects and voice your opinion on services and literature being developed for people living with dementia.

Please speak to your local Empowerment Facilitator for more information.

An Empowerment Facilitator in your local area will be in touch with you by your preferred contact method shortly after receiving your form. They will set up an initial face-to-face meeting in your home or a place where you feel comfortable, to discuss your circumstances and answer any questions you may have. If you would prefer to meet with an established Dementia NI member before deciding to become a member, that can be arranged.

With 16 Empowerment Groups right across Northern Ireland, and a presence in every Health and Social Care Trust area, you shouldn't be too far from your nearest Group. Check our map to discover where your nearest Group is. Nothing in your area? Email us to let us know.

Dementia NI membership is for people living with a diagnosis of dementia only. However, families and informal carers can also benefit from signposting to relevant services and carer support.

Family and carers of Dementia NI members report that they can relax and make time for themselves when their loved one is busy with a Dementia NI activity, and often observe an improvement in mood following the participation.

Family members are also included in some activities and kept up to date with Dementia NI’s work. This has also opened doors and opportunities for family members, and some have built friendships with one another.

Yes, membership of Dementia NI is completely free.

Our services are more suitable for those in the earlier stages of dementia progression. To get the most out of the organisation, you must be able to manage your continence care independently and be open to discussing your diagnosis.

Please speak to your local Dementia NI Facilitator to find out if we are able to offer support. We will suggest support on an individual basis.