Dementia Friendly Communities
Creating dementia friendly communities
People with dementia and their carers talk about the everyday challenges they face in living well with dementia. This can include difficulty using technology, getting appropriate service in shops, banks and post offices and in using transport, going on holiday, maintaining social contact and hobbies. Although help from health and care services is vitally important, making it possible for people affected by dementia to live well will require help from people and organisations across society.
Alzheimer's Society's five year strategy Delivering on Dementia says that a major strategic priority for the organisation will be working to create dementia friendly communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Society's role in leading this work was announced as part of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia on 26 March 2012.
The Society is now working in partnership with the Dementia Action Alliance to meet the ambition of creating dementia friendly communities across the country. . Some of the key ways in which we are taking this forward are:
Supporting the development of local dementia action alliances
One of the key ways in which we are doing this is through supporting the development of local dementia action alliances across England. Local Dementia Action Alliances by bringing together key stakeholders within a community with people affected by dementia can act as a catalyst to identify the key changes required to make their community dementia friendly and make it happen.
Developing a recognition process for dementia friendly communities
Many organisations, villages, towns and cities are taking steps towards becoming or have an ambition to become dementia friendly. However, realising dementia friendly organisations and communities will take a number of years. Whilst this is underway, it is vital that there is a recognition process to underpin the work.
This process is needed to enable organisations and communities to be part of an officially recognised group working towards becoming dementia friendly. It will also ensure that organisations and communities are working towards common standards that are based on what we know is important to people affected by dementia and will truly change their experience.
The recognition process is now being piloted with a group of communities, including a number of local dementia action alliances. These will act as early adopters and will help ensure that the core aspects of the recognition system are working as they should. The process then will be formally launched in late summer 2013.
A symbol to show that organisations and communities are working towards becoming dementia friendly is being developed. Organisations and communities will be able to display this symbol if they register with the recognition process and meet the conditions. The symbol will be available initially to those registered as early adopters.
To find out more go to 'Recognition for Dementia Friendly Communities'.
Developing evidence on dementia friendly communities
In March 2012 the Society published 'Dementia 2012' and reported against the 7 outcomes of the National Dementia Declaration. This was the first of what will be a series of annual 'state of the nation' reports that will provide evidence from people affected by dementia about different aspects of their lives and an exploration of external evidence.
Later this year the Society will publish further evidence in a report at an external conference on dementia friendly communities from the perspective of people affected by dementia. This will provide national evidence on what people affected by dementia state are the main factors that help to create a dementia friendly community. Many members of the DAA and local dementia action alliances have provided case studies of local actions that communities are taking to become more dementia friendly.