The Alzheimer Society of PEI is bringing this initiative to our province. By providing the tools, education and information that community members need, the Society is helping municipalities, professionals, corporations and the public to develop dementia-friendly communities.
What is a dementia-friendly community?
A dementia-friendly community focuses on stigma reduction and the inclusion of people with dementia. People are educated about dementia and know that a person with dementia may sometimes experience the world differently. In a dementia-friendly community, people living with dementia feel supported by their community members whether they are at post offices, retail outlets, using transportation, or enjoying hobbies out in the community.
Characteristics of a dementia-friendly community
Dementia-friendly communities are defined by both their social and physical characteristics. These attributes can help support people with dementia by reducing anxiety, stigma or frustration.
What does a dementia-friendly social environment look like?
Community members who are dementia friendly recognize that:
- A person with dementia is more than their diagnosis.
- Dementia can affect a person’s cognition, behaviour, emotions and physical capabilities.
- Everyone has a role to play in recognizing people with dementia as a part of their community and supporting their independence, value and inclusion.
What can your community do?
- Request dementia education to help community members understand dementia and learn how to offer appropriate assistance.
- Include people with dementia in community or organizational programming.
- Encourage city staff – whether at libraries or community centers, or parking and by-law officers, police and firefighters – to be educated about dementia and be able to communicate effectively with a person with dementia.
- Work with others in the community, such as shopkeepers, bank tellers and bus drivers, to receive dementia education specific to their job.
- Host programs for persons living with dementia and their caregivers such as Brain Fitness Fun
What about a dementia-friendly physical environment?
A physical environment that is welcoming to people with dementia includes:
- Clear and legible signage placed at eye level.
- Flat, wide and unobstructed sidewalks.
- Clearly marked accessible washrooms in public spaces.
- Landmarks, distinctive structures, open spaces and places of activity and rest.
(Original Source, Alzheimer Society of BC)
If you would like us to work with your business, organization or community to develop strategies that promote social inclusion and create a safe, supportive environment for people living with dementia, please contact the Alzheimer Society at 902-628-2257 or email [email protected] for more information.