"A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality life with meaning, purpose, and value. This also means being given the opportunity and support to stay at work or volunteer. "
— Kylie Watkins, Alzheimer’s Australia
Online Resources for Dementia-Friendly Community Development
What do people living with dementia and their care partners want from the community where they live? According to a study by the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s very similar to what most of us want from our communities—inclusion in the everyday life of the community, safe and affordable transportation options, access to health care and in-home supports, opportunities for socialization and recreation, and the ability to contribute to their community through paid or volunteer work. In addition, people want an accessible environment with appropriate signage, lighting and colors.
The United States—through the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association — is a world leader in the development of dementia-friendly communities. To learn more about the development and implementation of dementia-friendly communities in the US, listen to the TSLCA webinar.
Watch Dementia-Friendly Community in Minnesota get an idea of what a dementia friendly community looks like.
The Alzheimer’s Association created this short video to explain the 4-step process of creating a dementia-friendly community.
Minnesota’s pioneering Act on Alzheimer’s Initiative is an “all sectors” approach because every part of the community has a unique role in contributing to dementia friendliness. The focus of the work has been to educate the public, government officials, and businesses about effective strategies to make their community a friendly and inclusive place for people living with dementia and their care partners.
A number of useful toolkits and guides have been developed:
Building Dementia-Friendly Communities Toolkit: The toolkit is a user-friendly resource guide for implementing and sustaining dementia-friendly community efforts. The Guide is divided into four phases to guide the planning efforts of communities:
Convene— Convene key community leaders and members to understand dementia and its implications for your community. Then, form an Action Team.
Assess — Assess current community strengths and gaps concerning dementia using questionnaires in the toolkit.
Analyze— Analyze the community assessment findings and determine action priorities for your community.
Act Together — Create a community action plan and take action community-wide to become dementia friendly.