Dementia Friendly Communities

The relatively recent policy attention to dementia friendly communities reflects the fact that large numbers of people with dementia continue to live at home, although many report feeling isolated and no longer part of their community (Kane and Cook, 2013).  One report from each jurisdiction is included in this section and both have been commissioned by the respective Alzheimer Societies.

Report on Creating Dementia Friendly Communities

Alzheimer’s Society
Alzheimer Society of Ireland
2012

There are currently seven communities across ROI designated as Dementia Friendly Communities under a Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

The idea of creating dementia friendly communities was the subject of a 2012 report by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The report was based on work that the ASI undertook with a UK-based organisation Innovations in Dementia to gain a better understanding of the concept. The report briefly outlines the concept of dementia friendly communities and what it means to people with dementia. It reports on the issues arising from workshops that the Alzheimer Society of Ireland held with its staff and volunteers, outlines some of the initiatives aimed at making communities dementia friendly led by Alzheimer Society of Ireland staff and makes four recommendations for creating dementia friendly communities.      

Building Dementia Friendly Communities: A Priority for Everyone

Green, G., Lakey, L.
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)
2013

Based on evidence on dementia friendly communities in England, Wales and NI and drawing on the perspective of the general public, people with dementia and their carers, this report provides guidance to communities wishing to develop dementia friendly communities from scratch and to those communit

ies where the work has already begun. It presents examples of dementia friendly initiatives and the barriers that exist within communities. The report defines a dementia friendly community as “one in which people with dementia are empowered to have high aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them”, and identifies ten areas of focus: involving people with dementia; challenging stigma and building understanding; offering accessible and inclusive community activities; the potential of people with dementia; ensuring access to early diagnosis and post-diagnostic support;  providing practical support for engagement in community life; providing consistent and reliable travel options; ensuring the physical environment is accessible and easy to navigate; promoting respectful and responsive businesses and services.