Creating a global Dementia Friends Network

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia in England and Wales.

About Dementia Friends

Our Dementia Friends programme aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Find out more about our Dementia Friends programme.

At Alzheimer’s Society we have committed to helping other countries to develop their own Dementia Friends programmes, by sharing resources, learnings and advice.

You can see which countries have launched or are developing Dementia Friends programmes on our interactive dementia-friendly map. 

If the country you are looking for is not listed, or if you would like further information on the Global Dementia Friends Network, please email: [email protected]

Our global Dementia Friends ambassador

Global DF Ambassador
'I want every person in every corner of the world to be dementia aware' - Carey Mulligan

Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan is the UK's Global Dementia Friends Ambassador to help bring attention to dementia and to encourage people worldwide to become Dementia Friends and to be more dementia-friendly.

Carey, who was nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in An Education and has gone on to star in The Great Gatsby and Suffragette, has experienced dementia through her grandmother, who she calls Nans. Sadly Nans passed away last year.

'People living with dementia and their families frequently face stigma and discrimination and in some parts of the world can even face violence. Older people living with dementia can be doubly discriminated against due to their age and medical condition. We need to create communities which support and enable people affected by dementia to continue doing the things they want to do.

Having experienced first-hand how devastating it can be. I think it is incredibly important that we unite against dementia and work together to create a lasting and positive change. Defeating dementia won't just happen in a lab or care setting, we need to change the way people think, act and talk about the condition. I am honoured to be Alzheimer's Society's Global Dementia Friends Ambassador and part of the growing dementia movement'

As part of her role Carey Mulligan has made her voice heard in various media outlets, has spoken out at conferences and UN events, and continues to promote the Dementia Friends programme and other dementia-friendly initiatives.  

Creating a dementia-friendly generation

50 million people live with dementia worldwide, and this is set to increase to 75 million by 2030. As this number grows, more and more people will know someone affected by dementia. Younger people are no exception to this. So how do you explain dementia to a young person? And why is it important to do so?

At Alzheimer’s Society we commit to helping to create a global dementia-friendly generation in the UK and we’re also sharing our resources with partners for young people worldwide.

You can view our resources, from school toolkits, Dementia Friends activities, and factsheets on our creating a dementia-friendly generation page.

Our latest resource, ‘Memories with Grandma’ is an animation for 7 – 11 year olds which can be used to reduce the stigma and social isolation that unfortunately exists across the globe. It can also be used to create Dementia Friends. Check out our Global Dementia Friends map to see if you have a Dementia Friends programme in your country.

If you live outside of the UK and would like to request and view our resources, please contact: [email protected]

If you live within the UK please visit our creating a dementia-friendly generation page.

Dementia-friendly communities worldwide

The concept of Dementia Friendly Communities is spreading, and more and more people are recognising the importance of making communities inclusive, supportive and empowering for people living and affected by dementia.

Alzheimer Disease International, the international federation of Alzheimer associations around the world, has published reports and examples of dementia friendly initiatives worldwide. Visit www.alz.co.uk/dementia-friendly-communities for more information.

To help grow the dementia-friendly concept far and wide, we have committed to supporting other countries with their dementia-friendly initiatives – sharing our learning and best practice.

If you are interested in getting support with Dementia Friends, or other dementia-friendly initiatives in your country please contact [email protected].

Building a Dementia Friendly World symposium

On Wednesday 26 April 2017, Alzheimer’s Society hosted a special half day symposium on ‘Building a Dementia Friendly World’. The symposium took place at the ADI 2017 International Conference co-hosted with World Health Organisation (WHO) Kobe Centre and working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).

More than 350 people attended from over 43 countries, with many more joining online.

This event showcased dementia-friendly initiatives from around the globe and provided an opportunity to collaborate, debate and network with others. People involved in dementia-friendly programming, health care professionals, researchers, government representatives, civil society, WHO, people living with dementia and their supporters attended in Kyoto, Japan or joined online.

Watch the symposium recording below.

Innovative case studies

The five dementia-friendly initiatives featured in the Symposium are now available in our case study booklet. See how these countries are working to create dementia-friendly communities and learn from their experience and best practice.

View the five dementia-friendly initiatives showcased at the Symposium.

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Further reading