What is a dementia-friendly community?

A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported. 

An older woman and a younger woman laughing in a dementia friendly community.

In a dementia-friendly community people will be aware of and understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in the community they choose. 

Why are dementia-friendly communities important?

Dementia-friendly communities are vital in helping people live well with dementia and remain a part of their community. 

Too many people affected by dementia feel society fails to understand the condition they live with, its impact or how to interact with them. That’s why people with dementia sometimes feel they need to withdraw from their community as the condition progresses.

In fact, over a third of people with dementia told us that they have felt lonely recently.  More than a quarter of carers we surveyed said they felt ‘cut off from society’ too.

This isn’t okay. People affected by dementia still have an incredible amount to offer to their community. If appropriately supported, they can continue to play an active and valuable role even years after diagnosis.

Who can help make their community dementia-friendly?

Everyone.  From governments and local shops, to book clubs and churches, we all have a part to play in creating communities where people with dementia feel active, engaged and valued.

People affected by dementia have the most important role in any dementia-friendly community.  By sharing their experiences and connecting with others, they ensure that communities keep the needs of people affected by dementia at the heart of everything they do.

How do I find out what’s already happening in my area?

There may already be a group in your area.  By joining, you’ll be working together to encourage more people, groups and organisations to become dementia-friendly.

What should I do if there’s nothing in my area?

Don’t worry, there are still lots of ways to get involved.  You could:

 

Further reading