What is a Dementia Friendly Community?
A Dementia Friendly Community is a place where people with dementia are supported to continue living with meaning, purpose and value. Each Dementia Friendly Community will be different to the next, but will include at least one or more of the following:
- Businesses that provide accessible services for people with dementia, including staff who understand the disease and know how to communicate effectively with people living with dementia
- Organisations that provide paid work
- Volunteering opportunities
- Sporting clubs and social groups that are welcoming and inclusive
- Environments that are enabling
Why are Dementia Friendly Communities important?
Social stigma has a devastating impact on the lives of people with dementia. Post-diagnosis not only brings cognitive changes, but also changes how family and friends respond to that person. Increased community awareness about dementia will support people to continue involvement in activities they enjoy, reduce social isolation and add meaning, value and purpose to their day-to-day lives.
Dementia Friendly Community Towns
The Dementia Friendly Town project, an initiative of Dementiavirast, empowers rural communities to support people living with dementia to live as well as possible for as long as possible. The scale of these projects are the first of their kind in Australia.
Manjimup, Margaret River, Toodyay and York were pilot sites for Australia’s first ever Dementia Friendly Community towns in their entirety. The learnings from these towns will inform future Dementia Friendly Communities initiatives.
The Dementia Friendly Communities project is funded by the WA Country Health Service as part of the Southern Inland Health Initiative.