Living Well with Dementia operates a volunteer programme to provide individual friendship volunteers. Our volunteers are carefully selected to support people with dementia to pursue their interests and participate in their local community.
Our befrienders are caring and compassionate people with a genuine interest in the person with dementia. We currently have a team of over 25 befrienders who visit each week or attend an activity based on the likes of the person with dementia, for example, go for a walk or a round of golf, visit local attractions or stay at home and chat or play cards.
All our volunteers are Garda Vetted and reference checked. They attend an informal interview, induction and information session. Additional training sessions take place throughout the year and this provides the volunteer with all the relevant information they need to carry out their volunteering duties with confidence.
Matching and Introduction of Befrienders
The matching process takes into account information about likes and dislikes provided by the person with dementia, their family and health-care professional. When a match is found, Vivienne, our Volunteer Co-ordinator and the befriender will call for a short visit to see how everyone gets on, answer any questions and to set a date and time for the weekly visit.
Feedback and Support
Vivienne, our Volunteer Co-ordinator provides ongoing support and supervision to the volunteer. Family members are also invited to forward any relevant feedback to Vivienne.
I cannot tell you how much of a difference the visits from ‘Mary’ and her little dog have made to Mum….They call once a week for a couple of hours, sometimes sit and chat with Frankie on mum’s knee. Since the visits we have noticed how alert mum has become and she so looks forward to their visits. We cannot thank you enough.
‘Sarah’and mum have become such great pals. They play cards and do crosswords. It has had a really positive impact on Mum.
‘It’s great to see ‘John’ going out for walks again. Both he and the volunteer love nature and being out in the fresh air. They finish off with a nice cup of coffee in the local cafe.’
To find out more please contact the Living Well with Dementia office on 01 706 0100.