We have established Dementia Empower and Support Groups throughout Northern Ireland. These provide a place for members, who all have a diagnosis of dementia, to come together, share experiences, and provide peer support. Through the groups, members consult with other organisations and professionals on how to improve their engagement with people with dementia.
The Dementia NI Empower and Support Groups enable people with dementia to have a voice, remain active and part of their community. Dementia NI members meet on a regular basis in suitable venues to offer each other support through friendly social gatherings and raise awareness about what it is like to live with the symptoms of dementia. The Empower and Support Groups are facilitated by a member of staff who provides administrative support and organises visitors, who come along to meet the members and learn from them.
Empower and Support groups are usually held once a fortnight for approximately two hours in a relaxed informal environment and light refreshments are made available.
The groups regularly hosts visitors who come to learn from people with dementia They often wish to gain Dementia NI members' opinions and learn from their experiences of living with dementia. Each member's level of participation is always within their personal boundaries and comfort.
Dementia NI members often report an improved level of confidence and skills development through attending the groups.
Dementia NI members use their views and experiences to make positive changes for people with dementia. Our members help influence and inform how people can still live well with dementia. Through training and education, members tell others what it is like to live with dementia, as well as challenge the stigma attached to a diagnosis by raising awareness.
By engaging with various professionals and organisations throughout Northern Ireland, Dementia NI members inform them on how they can make their services, policies and practice more suitable for people living with dementia.
The Dementia NI groups which run throughout Northern Ireland empower people with dementia to have a voice, remain active and part of their community.
“Since joining Dementia NI, the support I have received has really helped me. After my first group meeting, I felt better. Getting to meet the other members has provided me with confidence and a new outlook” Davie McElhinney, Dementia NI member
Group members support each other through friendship and understanding, particularly after a recent diagnosis of dementia.
Regular organised gatherings and events enable Dementia NI members across Northern Ireland to come together and get to know each other, as well as offer opportunities for family members to be involved too
We know that people with dementia who are directly involved in our groups benefit by their involvement. Our members tell us that the Empower and Support Groups help them: