The first thing to know, is that the best thing you can do is to be a friend. While the nature of the friendship will change over time your friend’s partners will continue to value your friendship and support. If it’s possible for you to offer your time to give the partners some time out, you’ll find it’s generally very well received.
The next thing to know is that there are organisations and community services in most areas of the country that can provide support too. If your friends have not been in contact with their local Alzheimers New Zealand or Dementia New Zealand service, offer to obtain information for them or go with them to their first meeting. These organisations really know all about dementia, the issues people face (and the solutions) and how to live as well as possible with it. They also offer a range of support services such as day programmes, memory and coffee groups and fun activities. Education sessions are run regularly for spouses, family/ whānau, care partners and other support people.