The Buddy Program is a volunteer service for people living with Younger Onset Dementia (YOD).
The program involves a Buddy accompanying a person with YOD to attend activities in the community and to become a volunteer (if they wish) of their own choosing (e.g., helping at a café, community garden or animal shelter).
People living with YOD often find it difficult to perform tasks and participate in activities which they once enjoyed, without some support. As a result, they may become socially isolated, physically restless, lack motivation and feel depressed. The Buddy Program aims to address these issues by matching people living with YOD with volunteers who share the same interests, hobbies, culture and skills and by providing meaningful activity and purpose to people’s lives.
Volunteers offer people living with YOD a chance to develop a supportive friendship with a volunteer in a role which is informal and flexible. In so doing, it is the aim of the Buddy Program to increase the Quality of Life of people living with younger onset dementia.”