By the end of the decade, almost one million Canadians will live with dementia. The impact of dementia is and will continue to be felt across all borders, sectors and cultures. We must act and build a dementia-friendly Canada now.
What is Dementia-Friendly Canada?
The Dementia-Friendly Canada project is a partnership between the Alzheimer Societies of Canada, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and is intended to foster the creation of dementia-friendly communities across the country.
A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia, their families and care partners feel included and supported. While creating dementia-friendly communities, individuals and organizations should focus on both the physical and social environments to ensure they are fully accessible.
The Dementia-Friendly Canada project provides educational opportunities for the general public and professionals working in the community to mobilize them to champion dementia-friendly principles wherever they go.
We are pleased to announce the launch of four new public service announcements! These short (under 90 seconds) videos feature communication tips on how to be dementia friendly. You can find the PSAs under the video section on this page.
The 2023 Dementia-Friendly Communites Awards
On Sunday, January 15, the Alzheimer Society was thrilled to host the inaugural Dementia-Friendly Communities Awards!
Part of our Dementia-Friendly Canada project, the Awards recognized the incredible changes people are creating to make Canada more welcoming, inclusive and supportive of people living with dementia.
You can now watch the recording of the awards broadcast, as well as the full list of categories, nominees and winners.
Congrats to all the nominees and winners for their dedication to making a difference – you are all an inspiration!
What are the goals of Dementia-Friendly Canada?
It is critical that the everything we do as part of the Dementia-Friendly Canada project is guided by the voices of people with lived experience. We are also committed to building tools and resources that stem from best practices and can be easily utilized across the country.
These guiding principles play a key role in achieving each of the project’s three main goals:
- To train Canada’s workforce to be dementia friendly.
- Promoting and educating the general public about dementia through awareness campaigns and resources.
- Achieve sustainability and ensure growth of the Dementia-Friendly Canada initiative across the country.
Dementia-Friendly Communities initiatives
- British Columbia (English only)
- Saskatchewan (English only)
- Manitoba (English only)
Building Dementia-Friendly Communities online education for: Recreation and Library, Restaurant and Retail, and Public Transportation.
The course will provide a foundational knowledge of dementia, and outline the considerations that organizations can include in their social and physical environments in order to better support and include people living with dementia.
Building Dementia-Friendly Communities tip sheets:
Creating dementia-friendly communities takes an effort from everyone – individuals and organizations alike – to learn about and promote dementia-friendly principles in the physical and social environments of our workplaces, neighbourhoods and beyond
Incorporating these tips into everyday interactions will help staff at all levels of your organization contribute to a more supportive, inclusive and dementia-friendly community.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact in our communities and public spaces. Staying connected and engaged is a challenge for all of us, but particularly for people living with dementia. Ensuring the community is dementia friendly has become even more important.
Here are some things you can do in your workplace to build on your dementia-friendly communication skills while keeping everyone safe.
In a dementia-friendly community, people use language that is respectful and inclusive of people who live with dementia and their care partners. By using dementia-friendly language, you can help reduce the stigma.
Use this checklist to assess your workplace environment and develop your action plan for making the space more dementia friendly.
Written communication can be confusing for people living with dementia. Here are some tips to help make your organization’s written materials more dementia friendly.
Many of us will interact with someone living with dementia in our communities. This may be in our workplace, or as we are completing our day-to-day activities. By learning a little more about dementia, we can ensure that people living with dementia and their care partners feel valued, included and supported. The following PSAs demonstrate common scenarios and simple actions we can take to create a dementia-friendly Canada.
Ways you can be dementia friendly: reducing distractions
Ways you can be dementia friendly: ensuring participation
Ways you can be dementia friendly: providing assistance
Ways you can be dementia friendly: responding compassionately
What is a dementia-friendly community?
March 21, 2022. YouTube. Watch this short animated video about the importance of building dementia-friendly communities and the actions you can take to ensure people living with dementia feel supported and included.
Dementia-Friendly Canada: Building dementia-friendly communities
March 9, 2022. Vimeo. This presentation provides an introduction to our course Building dementia-friendly communities. The course is designed for professionals working in the following three sector groups: recreation and library, restaurant and retail, and public transportation sectors and provides a foundational knowledge of dementia, and outline the considerations that organizations can include in their social and physical environments in order to better support and include people living with dementia.
Dementia-Friendly Canada: Creating inclusive and supportive communities
March 31, 2021. Vimeo. This webinar provides more background on the Dementia-Friendly Canada project, detailing the work being done to create tools, education and programing that will allow for the development of dementia-friendly communities across the country.
- What is dementia? (PDF)
- Charter of Rights for People Living with Dementia
- Meaningful Engagement of People with Dementia: A Resource Guide
- Person-centred language guidelines
- 2017 Awareness Survey: Executive Summary (PDF)
- Dementia-Friendly Canada: Focus Group Report (PDF)
- Public Health Agency of Canada: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Achieve: 2020 Annual Report (PDF)
- Canadian Dementia Learning and Resource Network (CD-LRN)
- Towards a dementia-inclusive society: WHO toolkit for dementia-friendly initiatives (DFIs)
Thank you to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
The Alzheimer Society of Canada welcomes the $940,000 investment in the ‘Dementia-Friendly Canada’ project under the Dementia Community Investment from the Government of Canada, administered by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Society applauds the Government of Canada for recognizing the impact of dementia, as well as its commitment to creating more understanding and acceptance of dementia.
The views expressed on the Dementia-Friendly Canada webpages do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.