Dementia-Friendly Canada

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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.

Retail worker having a happy conversation with a senior couple.

To learn more about the Dementia-Friendly Communities work happening across the country, check this page often for updates.

What is Dementia-Friendly Canada?

The logo for the Dementia-Friendly Canada project, which is a blue forget-me-not flower in front of a red maple leaf

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.

    What are the goals of Dementia-Friendly Canada?

    A young retail worker helping a senior couple with their purchase.

    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:

    1. To train Canada’s workforce to be dementia friendly.
    2. Promoting and educating the general public about dementia through awareness campaigns and resources.
    3. Achieve sustainability and ensure growth of the Dementia-Friendly Canada initiative across the country.

    Dementia-Friendly Communities initiatives

    Dementia-Friendly resources

    Online education

    Building Dementia-Friendly Communities online education for: Recreation and Library, Restaurant and Retail, and Public Transportation (coming Fall/Winter 2021!)

    Tip sheets

    Building Dementia-Friendly Communities tip sheets:

    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Tips for Dementia-Friendly Interactions (PDF)

    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.

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    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Tips for dementia-friendly interactions from behind a mask (PDF)

    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.

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    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines (PDF)

    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.

    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines - cover
    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Tips for Dementia-Friendly Spaces (PDF)

    Use this checklist to assess your workplace environment and develop your action plan for making the space more dementia friendly.

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    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Tips for Dementia-Friendly Written Material (PDF)

    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.

    Dementia-Friendly Canada - Tips for Dementia-Friendly Written Material - cover

    Thank you to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

    Financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada / Agence de la santé publique du Canada/

    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.

    What is dementia?

    The term "dementia" doesn't actually refer to one, specific disease. Rather, it's an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.

    Learn more
    Senior man thinking pensively.

    Using person-centred language

    The Alzheimer Society has developed language guidelines for anyone who lives with, supports, or works with a person living with dementia or caregiver. These guidelines can help you promote consistent, respectful language around dementia.

    Learn more
    Person-centred language guidelines.

    Meaningful engagement of people living with dementia

    Meaningful engagement is a person-centred approach that encourages and invites people living with dementia to participate in an organization's work with purpose and interest. By practicing meaningful engagement, you can benefit from people living with dementia becoming more involved in your organization.

    Learn more
    Meaningful engagement of people with dementia.

    How Canadians perceive dementia

    Many Canadians acknowledge that people living with dementia regularly experience many forms of stigma. But there is still more work to be done to reduce stigma. Understand the results from our most recent Awareness Survey.

    Learn more
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    Canada's national dementia strategy

    On June 17, 2019, the Government of Canada released the country’s first-ever national dementia strategy: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire. On this page, learn more about the strategy, what it means for Canadians and why it needs to be fully funded.

    Learn more
    Your guide to Canada's national dementia strategy.

    Our Advisory Group of People with Lived Experience of Dementia

    Our Advisory Group of People with Lived Experience of Dementia is a community of people who guide the Alzheimer Society of Canada. By drawing on their personal stories of living with or supporting people with dementia, our members can share their voices to change how dementia is understood and treated in Canada.

    Learn more
    Group of happy seniors in the park.

    Find your Society

    No matter where you live in Canada, you have a Society that you can be involved in. Your Society can help and support you with programs, services, education and resources tailored to you.

    Learn more
    National ambassador Roger Marple.