What is a Dementia Friend?

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

I have been astonished at the increase in the diagnosis of dementia related symptoms over the last few years involving my family, friends and indeed my clients. This has led me to find out more about the disease and how I could gain a better understanding of ways to help.  

This led me to dementiafriends.org.uk and undertaking a tutorial with them as well as further research with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Dementia is caused by a number of diseases that affect the brain. The most common is Alzheimer’s but diseases also include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Pick’s disease. Different types of dementia affect the brain at different rates and in different ways, but other things like someone’s personal circumstances, the people around them and the environment in which they live, will affect their experience of dementia. Dementia progresses in a way that is unique to each individual. The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour. It is true that more people over 65 have dementia but it is not exclusively an older person’s disease; younger people get dementia too.

I have learnt that Dementia is not a natural part of ageing but is a disease of the brain. That it is perfectly possible to live well with Dementia, that Dementia is not about losing one’s memory and there is more to the person than the Dementia diagnosis.

It is so important when you meet someone with Dementia to treat them exactly the same as you would anyone else and to do it with a smile.

At Richmond House we take great care to understand and manage our clients’ money in a sensitive way. We recognise the need for clients to put in place powers of attorney at an early stage and subsequently work with attorneys closely.


Following my training I am pleased to say that all my colleagues here at Richmond House Wealth management have committed to undertake the same training so that we can all understand the needs of people with Dementia. I am proud to wear my Dementia Friends badge and hope many more people will do as well.

Richmond House Wealth Management is proud to be a Dementia Friend and are always available to answer your questions.

This comment is based on personal opinion, and does not constitute medical advice or treatment of the conditions above. Professional advice is necessary in every case.

John Merrifield. Dip PFS, Cert (Cii) MP.