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Dementia Befriender Role Description

Purpose of the role: To provide companionship to older people who are living with dementia, to help combat loneliness and isolation and to assist these individuals to feel more part of the wider community. This may be conversations or activities or some outings dependant on the needs of the client.

What a volunteer dementia befriender might do:

  • Undergo some training to understand the needs of people living with dementia and ways to engage and stimulate clients.
  • Visit an older person in their own home on a regular basis and have a chat or do some appropriate activities.
  • Accompany someone to go on a short walk or go for a coffee or do some non-essential shopping (providing this has been agreed and risk assessed)
  • Assist clients to learn about other activities that might alleviate isolation eg concerts or activities that might be available locally.
  • Alert Age UK Barnet staff to any issues or problems the client may need help with.
  • Report monthly to the Dementia Befriending Co-ordinator.

Personal qualities and experience most suited to this role:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Willingness to undertake training to understand Dementia and memory loss
  • Understanding the needs of and be able to empathise with people living with dementia
  • Understanding of confidentiality
  • Sense of humour
  • Patience, tolerance and sensitivity
  • Reliability and honesty
  • Ability to stay calm and focused when an emergency arises
  • Willingness to work within guidelines but use initiative if the situation warrants it.
  • The ability to speak another language is welcomed.

Training:  There is a minimum of 3-4 hours training for this role (usually an evening between 5.30 and 8.30.) There are also some guidance notes. We also run some other courses for volunteers who may assist those with mobility or sight problems to leave their home.

Location: Clients homes

How much time is involved? On average 2-3 hours per week, per client, including travelling time but some clients may require less frequent visits. A commitment for minimum of 6-12 months is required.

What you can expect from us: Age UK Barnet will cover agreed out of pocket expenses for volunteers (e.g. travel costs). We will also insure you for personal and public liability for the time you are volunteering with us providing what you do is risk assessed and agreed. We are happy to provide references for our volunteers.

We accept volunteers from all backgrounds and welcome applications from those with disabilities or health conditions. This volunteering opportunity is subject to a DBS check.

Responsible to: Becky Bayne, Dementia Befriending Co-ordinator, Age UK Barnet, Ann Owens Centre, Oak Lane, East Finchley N2 8JT                                    
Tel: 020 150 0967      Mobile: 07990 705 170       Email:


Click here for application form