What does the service do?
The Dementia befriending service is a service for socially isolated older people who are experiencing a dementia or memory impairment. The service provides volunteer befrienders who carry out regular one-to-one visits to provide:
- Company and activity
- Support to maintain hobbies, interests and skills
- Assistance to access the local community
- A regular contact who is able to signpost any issues and concerns as and when they arise to the appropriate services
Who accesses the service?
The Dementia befriending service is for individuals with dementia who have little or no contact with other services or support from other sources. These are often the individuals in our community who can become isolated and forgotten.
Often individuals living with a form of dementia can suffer from a lack of self-esteem due to their experiences of forgetfulness. The world outside their front door can be very daunting and confusing. This can result in a lack of motivation and confidence and an increase in frustration or anxiety. Individuals with dementia can feel that their voice no longer matters and that they have lost a sense of purpose and belonging.
Regular one-to-one visits from a volunteer can help to support individuals living with dementia: to make use of their skills; to take initiative by suggesting ideas for activities or topics of conversation; and to feel that they still have something to contribute to their community.
The service assists those with all forms of dementia and memory impairment. This could include those with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontal-temporal lobe dementia and others.
Who are our volunteers?
The service has a diverse team of volunteer befrienders who vary in age, gender and background. Befriending matches are based on personality and common ground between befriender and service user. Volunteers take part in the service for a variety of reasons which include: enthusiasm to empower socially isolated individuals; an interest to listen and learn first-hand from the vast experiences of older people who have lived colourful lives; a desire to put something back into the community.
Volunteer befrienders have been specifically selected and trained to work with people with dementia and are supported in their role by the service coordinator. All Age UK Camden staff and volunteers are subject to an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Check. If you are interested in volunteering as a Dementia Befriender for older people with dementia or memory impairment, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Age UK Camden through the Volunteering Section of this website.
How do I make a referral?
If you or someone that you know could benefit from the Dementia Befriending Service then please contact us using the contact details below to discuss further.