Sprightly 101 year old Dabirul Islam Choudhury OBE has become the world’s oldest Dementia Friend. The East Londoner from Bow takes over the mantle from the late Battle of Cable Street veteran Max Levitas, who was 100 when he became a Dementia Friend.
A Dementia Friend is somebody who learns about dementia so they can help their community. Dementia Friends help by raising awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want.
Speaking after being confirmed as a Dementia Friend, Mr Islam commented, “I’m still fit and healthy and able to help people. This is a blessing. I’m happy that today I have learned interesting information about dementia which will equip me to help people. I will also wear my Dementia Friends badge with lots of pride!”
Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions – both big and small. These actions don’t have to be time-consuming. From visiting someone with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue, every action counts.
Dementia Friends Champions like Emdad Rahman are trained volunteers who encourage others to learn a little bit about dementia. Champions run information sessions in their community and inspire others to help those living with dementia live well.
Emdad commented, “I’m hugely inspired by the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to be the reason not one, but two East End legends have become Dementia Friends. Dabirul Chacha (uncle) is a community juggernaut and he was so excited about taking part in the information session, asking lots of questions and genuinely taking a keen interest. He hopes to use his new knowledge and status to make a big difference. I know he will, because he’s full of energy and, quite simply, a phenomenon!”
Mr Choudhury’s son Atique Choudhury, who is also a Dementia Friend and long time supporter of the scheme, facilitated the session.
●The 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. For more information, go to:
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