Here we are with another section of the reMIND information and awareness campaign! In this part will provide information about a dementia friendly community. Expect the useful base of information and tips for engagement and inclusion of people with dementia. We will talk about what a dementia friendly community is, its value and benefits, key outcomes and areas of actions, basic principles and steps to develop a dementia friendly community locally. We all have a part to play in creating culture and places in which people living with dementia feel active, engaged and valued. Ready to start this journey with us?

A dementia friendly community (DFC) is a place – city, town, village or culture in which people with dementia are understood and more people understand dementia. It is a community that is informed, safe and respectful of individuals living with dementia, their families and caregivers, and provides supportive options that foster quality of life and ability to remain in society, engage and thrive in day to day living. In these communities people living with dementia are supported, included and empowered to live independently for longer. There are two main objectives of dementia friendly communities. First is based on the lived experience approach that aims to reduce stigma and increase awareness and meaningful engagement for people with dementia of all ages. The second objective is based on the rights and capabilities approach to empower people living with dementia to make decisions about their own lives and continue to live fulfilling lives for as long as possible in the society where dementia is normalized as a disability.
More at the sources:
Toolkit “Dementia Friendly Communities. Key principles” of Alzheimer’s Disease International
What is DFA — Dementia Friendly America (

In practice a phenomenon of dementia friendly community refers to many different elements of reality. Primary focus is given to housing, transportation, services related to business, health, community, public safety, buildings and outdoor spaces, communication and information, social inclusion and participation, access, equity and cultural inclusion, civic participation and employment. Dementia friendly community will be characterized by:

– health care that promotes early diagnosis and uses dementia care best practices along the care continuum,

– residential settings that offer memory loss services and supports,

– dementia-aware and responsive legal and financial planning,

– supportive options for independent living and meaningful community engagement,

– dementia-aware local government services, planning and emergency responses,

– dementia friendly public environments and accessible transportation,

– business with dementia-informed services and environments for customers and employee caregivers,

– welcoming and supportive local communities.

More at the sources:

WHO toolkit for dementia-friendly initiatives (DFIs) “Toward a dementia inclusive society”

What is a Dementia Friendly Community? | Dementia Friends USA

Many people living with dementia and their caregivers feel lonely and cut off from society. In fact they feel that others fail to understand the condition they live with, its impact or how to interact with them. People affected by dementia sometimes feel that they need to withdraw from their community as the condition progresses. But they still have an incredible amount to offer to their community only if they are appropriately supported. A dementia friendly community gives a chance to live well with dementia and remain a part of their community and society. Dementia friendly communities understand the rights and recognise the full potential of people living with dementia, so they are vital in helping them to continue to play an active and valuable role even years after diagnosis. In a dementia-friendly community people are aware of and understand dementia, so that there is less fear and avoidance and people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in the community they choose.

More at the source:

Dementia friendly communities | Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) (

The four essential elements for dementia friendly community are:

  1. People – people living with dementia are the heart of dementia friendly communities and play the most important role, so they must be included. It is the only way to ensure that communities meet the needs of people affected by dementia.
  2. Communities – developing dementia friendly community means the commitment to adapting the physical and social environment to the needs of people living with dementia
  3. Organisations – every part of the community has its own role in taking steps to create a dementia friendly society. It is important that businesses and organizations are willing to develop dementia-friendly policy, approaches and strategies in their areas.
  4. Partnerships – cross-sectoral collaboration and creating a network of communities, organizations and individuals is a crucial factor to effect change. Cooperation and collective action ensure that communities are equipped to support people living with dementia and their caregivers in many aspects of life.

More at the sources:

Dementia friendly communities | Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) (

Toolkit “Dementia Friendly Communities. Key principles” of Alzheimer’s Disease International

A dementia friendly community includes different kinds of places, services and resources, from governments and banks to local shops, libraries or cinemas. Eight key areas to consider for dementia-friendly actions are:
– health and social care,
– housing,
– transport,
– emergency services,
– businesses and shops,
– arts, culture, leisure and recreation,
– children, young people and students,
– community, voluntary, faith groups and organizations.
More at the source:
How to become a recognised dementia-friendly community | Alzheimer’s Society (

In fact everyone can help their community become dementia-friendly. If you would like to get involved, here is what you will need to do:

Step one: Get a group together – find other people interested in an initiative and connect to form a group. Dementia friendly community works best when it is led by local people.

Step two: Agree a leader – a person or a team of few that will coordinate the activities and by overviewing the group will make sure that the community is making progress in becoming dementia-friendly.

Step three: Raise awareness – spread the knowledge about dementia to let people from your community understand the issue before taking an action. There are lots of ways to raise awareness and make people understand dementia such as lessons in schools and universities, libraries, workshops and trainings, and spreading educational materials. Of course we encourage you to use all the outcomes of the reMIND project including information and awareness campaign! Find out more at:

Step four: Involve people living with dementia – hearing the experiences of people with dementia from your area is very important. Give it a space before you start taking an action in order to know their perspective, struggles and needs. To reach them out, you can invite people living with dementia to join your group, visiting services they use, hosting local events.

Follow-up in the next post.

More at the source:

How to become a recognised dementia-friendly community | Alzheimer’s Society (

Follow-up to the previous post.
Step five: Tell the world – show and promote what you do and make sure your community knows about it. Thanks to it you can get more people on board or become an inspiration for others. Use social media to share news, write a press release for a local newspaper, and take part in events.
Step six: Identify areas for local action – the most important part for a dementia friendly community is to take an action! Identify a list of needs and priorities, plan and implement actions. Check the key actions list in the previous spot.
Step seven: Monitor your progress – plan how you will measure the progress according to what seems right to you. You can host the regular meeting to share and update about your actions.
Step eight (optional): Apply for recognition – some countries offer an official DFC recognition. If you are interested, search if this applies in your country. There are now 67 Dementia Friends programmes launched or in development in 56 countries and almost 19 million Dementia Friends worldwide.
Note that there may already be a group in your region. By joining them, you will work together to encourage more people, groups and organizations to become dementia-friendly.
More at the source:
How to become a recognised dementia-friendly community | Alzheimer’s Society (

This practical list of tips will help you make sure that people living with dementia are meaningfully involved in all stages and activities related to the dementia friendly community.

  • Project meetings are arranged at times that best suit the person with dementia.
  • The caregiver is available during the meeting to assist the person with dementia.
  • The meeting is audio recorded and transcribed; minutes are sent following the meeting.
  • An appropriate venue is selected, considering seating, lighting, ventilation, acoustics, signage and accessibility.
  • Stimulus material is on hand to help discuss complex ideas in preparation for, and during, the meeting.
  • Direct questioning and jargon are avoided.
  • A meeting agenda and key discussion points are sent out to the person with dementia in advance of the meeting, with someone available to discuss these points and prepare if needed.
  • Meeting pace and length are suitable to the person with dementia.
  • The person with dementia (and their caregiver) receive remuneration for expenses they incur.

More at the source:

WHO toolkit for dementia-friendly initiatives (DFIs) “Toward a dementia inclusive society”

Components of the social environment include, but are not limited to: social and economic processes, social and health services, social inequality, cultural practices, the arts, religious institutions and practices, beliefs about place and community, wealth, power relations, government and labour markets. Dementia friendly communities seeking to create an accessible and safe physical environment focus on:
– creating positive social attitudes and norms concerning older people in general, and people with dementia specifically,
– creating opportunities to engage in volunteer activities,
– engaging people with dementia in paid employment, as and when appropriate,
– including people with dementia in socio-cultural activities,
– enabling people with dementia to participate in relevant decision-making,
– making information available in an accessible manner,
– ensuring health and social services are appropriate, available and accessible,
– fostering economic security.

More at the source:
WHO toolkit for dementia-friendly initiatives (DFIs) “Toward a dementia inclusive society”

The physical environment includes outdoor environments, transport and mobility, and housing. It refers to the immediate physical surroundings, including built infrastructure and industrial and occupational structures, such as roads, sidewalks, doorways and entryways, businesses, parks, libraries and other public spaces. Dementia friendly communities seeking to create an accessible and safe physical environment focus on:
– improving neighbourhood walkability,
– making public spaces, buildings, and facilities more accessible and safer,
– making public transportation, vehicles and public transport stops more accessible and safer,
– making housing more affordable and safer.
More at the source:
WHO toolkit for dementia-friendly initiatives (DFIs) “Toward a dementia inclusive society”

Everyone who wants to help people with dementia in their community can become a dementia friend – somebody that learns about dementia and helps their community by raising awareness, understanding and taking small or big actions – from visiting a person with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue. Dementia friends can also get involved in volunteering, campaigning or wearing a badge to raise awareness. The concept of a dementia friendly community is simple – to work for the common goal of a better life for people living with dementia, their families and caregivers. But it is also much more than this – it has the power to change the way we think about people with dementia and their lives. Together we can make a difference and create dementia friendly communities around us. Watch the short video about the small behaviour changes that create a dementia friendly community. Link:

More at the sources:
Dementia friendly communities | Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) (

Restaurant of mistaken orders is a wonderful dementia-friendly practice from Japan, the country where a dementia friendly community concept started. In this restaurant you are not sure if your order will be right, because all of the servers are people with dementia. They may or may not get your order correctly, but even though the restaurant assures us it will be delicious and one of a kind. The aim of the project is to increase dementia awareness and to make society more open minded and relaxed. The association hopes that the feeling of openness and understanding toward dementia will spread not only across Japan, but throughout the world.

More at the source:

We hope that you stayed curious to discover different aspects of the dementia friendly community movement. That is the end of another part of the reMIND information and awareness campaign. Thank you for being with us. Stay tuned for more!

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