Senior caregiver and senior women with tablet

Dementia Friends is a global movement ​that is changing the way people think, ​act, and talk about dementia. Developed ​by the Alzheimer's Society in the United ​Kingdom, the Dementia Friends initiative ​is underway in Virginia.

About Dementia Friends Virginia

What is a Dementia Friend?

To become a Dementia Friend, you participate in a Dementia Friends Information Session presented by a ​Dementia Friends Champion. You will learn five key messages about dementia and a bit about what it's like to ​live with dementia. As a Dementia Friend you turn your new understanding of dementia into a practical ​action that can help someone living in your community. Your action can be big or small - because every ​action counts!

What Happens at ​a Info Session?

The one-hour Information Session is ​an in-person experience run by a ​Dementia Friends Champion.

It is not a formal training. The session ​has activities and discussion that ​cover the five key messages everyone ​should know about dementia. ​Everyone who attends is asked to do a ​dementia-friendly action as part of ​becoming a Dementia Friend, but the ​choice is yours.

Who are ​Champions?

Champions are equip with the ​knowledge and activities needed ​to facilitate a Dementia Friends ​Information Session with friends, ​family, colleagues and the wider ​community.

Our Growth

Making Friends Since


No​. Dementia Friends


No. Dementia Friends ​Champio​ns


Find a Session

During the interactive session, you will increase your ​understanding of dementia, and think about the ​small things that you can do to make a difference ​for people living with dementia in your community.

Information Sessions are available for all ages

Dementia Friends Session

Champions Session

Initiative Co-Leads

LeadingAge Virginia is the sublicensee ​for Dementia Friendly Virginia and ​Dementia Friends Virginia. Along with ​LeadingAge Virginia, the Virginia ​Department for Aging and ​Rehabilitative Services are the co-leads ​for the initiatives in Virginia

Melissa Andrews

LeadingAge Virginia

George Worthington

Virginia Department for Aging and ​Rehabilitative Services

Regional Partners

These selected individuals from ​around the state have been trained ​to provide Champion trainings either ​in-person or virtually to those ​persons interested in the Dementia ​Friends initiative.

Elderly care old and young

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact Paula ​Ropelewski, Director, Education & Engagement, ​LeadingAge Virginia, at 804.925.2665 or ​

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Abby Buford

Commonwealth PR