Creating A Dementia Friendly Community

Older woman with sun hat gardening in a Dementia Friendly Community Garden.
Older woman with sun hat gardening in a Dementia Friendly Community Garden.

A Dementia Friendly Community is a place where everyone, regardless of their cognitive abilities, feels safe, respected, and supported.

What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

Communities across the world are coming together to support individuals living with dementia and their families. Dementia Friendly Communities are places where everyone, regardless of their cognitive abilities feels respected, safe, and supported. Imagine a community where businesses, healthcare providers, first responders, and even the local library and grocery store understand how to interact sensitively with individuals living with dementia. That’s the goal of Dementia Friendly America.

Dementia Friendly America

Dementia Friendly America is an initiative to bring communities together to have a positive impact on the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners. The initiative began at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, inspired by Minnesota’s successful ACT on Alzheimer’s Program. Since then, Dementia Friendly America has been helping communities all across the country become Dementia Friendly.

Who’s Involved with Dementia Friendly Communities?

The short answer is that everyone can get involved with creating a Dementia Friendly Community. Businesses and banks adapt their services to accommodate individuals with cognitive impairment. Law enforcement and first responders learn to recognize the signs of dementia and how to respond appropriately. Healthcare systems are promoting early diagnosis, then connecting people with the support they need. Faith communities play a vital role supporting those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Everyone Plays a Role

The efforts don’t stop there. Local governments get involved by planning and implementing changes to housing, transportation, and public spaces to better support individuals with cognitive differences. Restaurant owners, small businesses, and large employers find ways to make their services and workplaces more accessible to everyone. Individuals become Dementia Friends by participating in a Dementia Friends Information Session.

Tools & Resources

When advocates living in Dallas wanted to foster a more inclusive environment for individuals living with cognitive impairment they looked at the tools and resources provided by Dementia Friendly America. These tools are like a roadmap for becoming more Dementia Friendly. The DFA Tool Kit provide videos, action plans, and other materials to organize and direct the efforts of the Committee.

Dementia Friendly Matters

Dementia Friendly Dallas is making a meaningful difference across Dallas County. Dementia is not just an individual issue – it’s a community issue. By coming together and making our communities more Dementia Friendly, we’re not only improving the lives of those living with dementia, we’re helping their care partners, and creating more inclusive and supportive communities for everyone.

You Can Help

Whether you’re a business owner, healthcare provider, or just someone who cares about making a difference, there’s a role for you to play in creating a Dementia Friendly Community. Start by attending a one-hour, virtual or in-person Dementia Friend Information Session. Become a Dementia Champion. Together we can make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors and loved ones. Contact to get started.

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