Who are the key stakeholders in creating Dementia Friendly Communities?

  • People with dementia are central to creating Dementia Friendly Communities
  • Neighbours, friends, supporters and families
  • Local businesses that exist in every community such as banks, post office, coffee shop owners etc
  • Local statutory service providers that would be likely to have interactions with people with dementia and their families.  These would include: emergency services, Gardai, local authority personnel, councillors, town planners, HSE personnel and educational facilities
  • Local mainstream community service - youth clubs, ICA, IFA, GAA, church groups, older people’s groups, community projects (tidy towns), arts based and theatre groups,
  • Specialist support service providers such as The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
  • Essential to the development of any project that would be as wide scale as Dementia Friendly Communities would be funding to support the initiatives

Key areas for creating Dementia Friendly Communities:

  • The physical environment (signage, orientation, streetscapes
  • Local facilities (shops, pub, Post Office, library, sporting and activity groups)
  • Support services (community based services, day care, home care, community based health care professionals)
  • Social networks (family, friends, other members of the community)
  • Local groups (dementia led initiatives such as Social Clubs, support groups for people with dementia and walking groups)

What are the activities involved in creating a Dementia Friendly Communities?

  • Developing educational tools – producing an information product that explains the initiative and how people can get involved.  This will create awareness in the broader community and among the various stakeholders.
  • Building the awareness of communities and the actors within them of dementia - Develop and deliver dementia awareness training to key people living and working in the community in order increase understanding of the condition and how to respond appropriately (Gardai, emergency services, business owners, librarians community groups, etc)
  • Volunteering - Develop a buddy system and/or citizens’ advocacy services for people living with dementia using community volunteers to provide low key one-to-one support to enable the person with dementia to continue to participate in everyday life
  • Creating appropriate environmental factors - Develop proposals on environmental / landscape / barrier removal that are dementia friendly and work with the local authority to instigate practical changes and influence the town planning process
  • Enabling the engagement of people with dementia and their families in communities - Develop dementia led initiatives that are inclusive of everyone
  • Supporting the person with dementia and their carers to adjust to a diagnosis of dementia – Providing people impacted by dementia with outlets to discuss their diagnosis and adapt to the changes it will bring e.g. family carer training, providing early stage support for people with dementia or providing cognitive stimulation therapy for those newly diagnosed
  • Develop a Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit based on the learning and evaluation of the experience in order to roll out the project in other locations

You can read a report on Identifying Dementia Friendly Communities here

Building our Capacity for Creating Dementia Friendly Communities

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland has worked with Innovations in Dementia to build our capacity and understanding of Dementia Friendly Communities so that we can lead the way in ensuring that communities all over Ireland are better places in which to live with dementia. You can read more about the work that was done with Innovations in Dementia here. 

Dementia Awareness in our Community – Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

To mark Social Inclusion Week 2011 The Alzheimer Society of Ireland were delighted to host an interactive workshop “Dementia Awareness in our Community” exploring the issues which face people with dementia living in the wider community of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown. 

Participants explored the concept of Dementia Friendly Communities and the workshop was an opportunity for organisations and services in the wider community to discuss ideas around how they can play a bigger role in being more inclusive and dementia friendly.  Click here to read The Alzheimer Society of Ireland's Dementia Awareness in our Community report 2011.

More information

About Alzheimer Ireland

The Society was founded in 1982 by a small group of people who were caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia. Find out what we docontact us and more

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