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.

Genio Dementia Programme: Evaluation of Year 2

O’Shea, E. and Monaghan, C.
This study is a follow-up to the Genio Dementia Programme Evaluation of Year 1, which examined the operations and impact of the Programme in 2013. It was based on the completion by the four sites of a semi-structured questionnaire and interviews with projects leads and other consortia members.
The report outlines the changes to and realignments of the original project objectives and improvements in the functioning and relationships of the various consortia (described in a separate paper) driving the projects towards person-centred models of care. The four projects have been able to embed/integrate into the HSE to varying degree. Public awareness of dementia has increased significantly over the two years of the project, although developing a common language firmly based on personhood and person-centre care is an ongoing challenge. Improvement in attitudes to dementia among the public, health care providers and families were also evident in all four sites. New person-centred initiatives were launched in the areas of individualised supports, respite care and integrated care. Progress was made in relation to technology, which is being used to augment person-centred care for people with dementia. Advances were made with regard to training and education by the projects with some focusing on families and volunteers, and others on primary care teams, GPs, public health nurses, home helps and dementia support workers. The report documents the key improvements made by the sites, the year highlights and the challenges facing the sites.

Building Dementia Friendly Communities: A Priority for Everyone

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

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.  

Report on Creating Dementia Friendly Communities

Alzheimer’s Society
Alzheimer Society of Ireland

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.