Interview with a Dementia Friends Host
Want to know what it’s like to be a Dementia Friends Host?
Dementia Friends Hosts are volunteers who facilitate Dementia Friends training sessions in their local communities to raise awareness about dementia and encourage people to become more dementia friendly.
To find out more about what it’s like to be a Dementia Friends Host, we spoke to Danielle Criddle who lives and works in the eastern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia.
Working for the City of Swan as Client Services Coordinator of Community Care, Danielle is strongly linked into the Swan Dementia Alliance, and also has a personal connection with one of her grandparents having lived with dementia.
How did you get your start as a Dementia Friends Host?
It was quite simple really. I saw it as an opportunity to raise awareness and complement the work I do supporting people with dementia. I thought what a great tool to have; a structured session that could be used to enhance community talks I was already doing, so I jumped on board!
What do you love most about being a Dementia Friends Host?
I have always enjoyed talking to people and helping people gain insight and knowledge, so I guess it was quite a natural progressive step for me to do the host induction and then to share knowledge and empower the community with increased awareness.
What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered in this role?
For me it’s a joy to share time and space with the people I meet and listen to their stories. The expression of emotion however can be challenging at times, empathising with people who are working through their own challenges and sometimes supporting a family member or friend.
Hosting a dementia friend session with 82 participants in a movie theatre during Dementia Action Week this year was a challenging highlight!
What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a Dementia Friends Host?
If you enjoy meeting people, being involved in the community, sharing knowledge and raising awareness – then this gig is for you!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience? Any tips and tricks?
Have fun with it, be creative and share your spirit😊.
Are you interested in becoming a Dementia Friends Host? Contact the Dementia-Friendly Communities team on DementiaFriendly@dementia.org.au.