How to become a recognised dementia-friendly community

Our recognition process enables communities to be publicly recognised for their work towards becoming dementia-friendly.

Important update to our Dementia Friendly Communities recognition scheme

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities recognition scheme will come to an end on 31 December 2023.

If you’d like to apply or renew your recognition for 2023, please email [email protected].

Our Dementia Friendly Communities recognition scheme celebrates the work of dementia-friendly communities across the country.

Many communities have received formal recognition for being dementia-friendly. View the full list of active communities.

If you’d like to get involved, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Step one: Get a group together

Dementia-friendly communities work best when they’re led by local people.  Join with other interested people locally to form your ‘steering group.’

Step two: Agree a leader

This person will oversee the group and make sure the community is making progress.  They aren’t expected to do everything themselves, but can coordinate the group’s activity.  

They’ll also be Alzheimer’s Society’s key contact for the community, receiving support from our Dementia Friendly Communities Officers.

Step three: Raise awareness

People in your community need to understand dementia before they can take dementia-friendly actions.  There are lots of ways you can raise awareness, such as:

Step four: Involve people affected by dementia

Before you can start taking action, you’ll need to hear the experiences of people affected by dementia where you live.  You could do this by:

  • Inviting people with dementia to join your group
  • Visiting services, such as Memory Cafés
  • Hosting a community event

Step five: Tell the world

You’re doing something amazing, so make sure your community knows about it.  It’s a great way to get more people on board and to celebrate your successes.  

You could consider:

  • Sharing news on social media
  • Writing a press release for your local newspaper
  • Taking part in community events and fayres

Step six: Identify areas for local action

Taking action is the most important part of any dementia-friendly community.  You don’t have to tackle everything at once.  Speaking to local people with dementia can help you identify what your priorities should be.

We suggest using the BSI PAS1365: A code of practice for dementia-friendly communities to help you.  This guide offers eight key areas for action and some suggested actions for communities:

  • arts, culture, leisure and recreation
  • businesses and shops
  • children, young people and students
  • community, voluntary, faith groups and organisations
  • emergency services
  • health and social care
  • housing
  • transport

See our sector specific guides to find out how you can become a dementia friendly organisation

Step seven: Monitor your progress

Now you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll need to plan how you’ll measure your progress.  Many communities host regular meetings to share their updates on their actions, but you can choose what’s right for you.

As a recognised community, we’ll want to know how you’re getting on 6 months after your application.  You’ll then keep us up-to-date with a yearly assessment.  However you can update your progress as much as you want over the year.

Step eight: Apply for recognition

Your community is ready to apply to our Dementia Friendly Communities recognition scheme.  We want to hear how you’ve achieved the steps above and, more importantly, what your future plans are. Apply now:

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