A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.
The majority of people with dementia live in the community.
Often people feel socially isolated and wish they had more opportunities to interact with people in the community and to participate in social or other activities.
With the support of their employer, community, local businesses and organisations, neighbours, and friends and family members, people with dementia can continue to do many of the things they did before they received a diagnosis.
How does a dementia-friendly community benefit people with dementia?
Dementia-friendly communities encourage organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals to make practical changes that will have a positive impact on the lives of people living with dementia and their carers.
In a dementia-friendly community:
- people are aware of and understand dementia
- people with dementia continue to be active participants in their own lives
- health staff are educated about dementia and treat people living with dementia with respect and empathy
- businesses provide accessible services to people with dementia, including having staff who understand dementia and know how to communicate effectively
- employers provide support for people living with the disabilities of dementia to continue with paid employment
- the physical environment enables people with dementia to get out and about safely
- social groups and organisations are welcoming and inclusive of members with dementia
Dementia-friendly communities in action
Find out how other communities are making changes.
People with dementia deserve to enjoy the same services and human rights as all other Australians, with full inclusion in their community. Becoming dementia-friendly means you can help your community to support people living with dementia to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.
Social and community groups
The essence of a dementia-friendly community is to support people with dementia to be involved in activities and opportunities for social engagement that provide meaning and purpose in their lives for as long as possible. Social and community groups play a key role in facilitating this.
People with dementia, family and carers
The first step to creating a dementia-friendly community is the creation of a local Dementia Alliance (or whatever the group chooses to be called). A local Dementia Alliance is made up of people in the community who are interested in helping to make their town or community more dementia-friendly.
Businesses and organisations
Local understanding of what it can be like for an individual to live with dementia, combined with an awareness regarding their distinct service and support needs, will become increasingly important in creating dementia-friendly and age-friendly communities. This should be seen not only as being the right thing to do, but also as making good business sense.