Dementia Friendly Communities Report


Read about the people in Saskatchewan who are advocating for changes in their communities over the past year to be more dementia friendly.

CCE highlight report cover photo

Not only does the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan help people living with dementia and their care partners, but we also support individuals, organizations, and communities to learn more about dementia and how to become more accessible and inclusive for those who are affected by it.

Download your copy of the 2024 Highlight Report here 


Why are Dementia Friendly Communities Important?

In Saskatchewan, it is estimated that 20,000 people are currently living with dementia- that means between your morning coffee and lunch, someone else in Saskatchewan will develop dementia- and 60% of people living with dementia are living at home, in their communities, and want to continue participating in their community as long as possible.

Many people living with dementia and their care partners report barriers, such as stigma, to feeling included in their communities once symptoms arise or a diagnosis is given. The stigma and misunderstanding of dementia can cause people to withdraw from community interaction due to discomfort with social situations. Withdrawing from a community can result in a diminished quality of life and loss of personal connections.

Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan Project 

Since May 2021, the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan participated in the Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan project and were able to engage 28 organizations across 20 communities in the Yorkton and Melville area.

The most remarkable part of the project, however, is not a number – it’s the community-minded individuals we met along the way who recognized the importance of increasing their knowledge of dementia. It’s the businesses, organizations, and community members who and have committed to using that new knowledge in their everyday interactions and are working to increase the inclusion of people living with dementia, their families, and care partners. They are the people who are making the lasting impact in the project area.

Notably from the Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan project we were able to connect with Merle Wiley and Joan Michael from Saltcoats, Saskatchewan.

Merle Wiley, a care partner for her husband Dean, and Joan Micheal, Saltcoats Library Head Librarian, are community advocates for people experiencing dementia and also sisters! The pair experienced a parent going through dementia, and now Merle’s husband Dean. Merle and Dean have both participated in the DSRS project efforts and have shared insights in numerous educational events for the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan. Merle advocated for areas in the community that could be enhanced to be more accessible and easy to navigate for people living with dementia and their care partners—which has been well received by the City of Saltcoats.

We commend the actions of this community for making a difference in the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners.

You can read more about their efforts, along with many others throughout rural Saskatchewan in this years Dementia Friendly Community Highlight Report


Resources to Help Increase Your Community’s Dementia Friendliness

The Alzheiemr Society of Saskatchewan has created action guides for sectors such as Libraries, Pharmacies, Recreation centres and Office spaces. We recognize that each community has unique needs and actions to consider when making changes to be more accessible and welcoming to people who experience their surroundings differently- such as those living with dementia.

You can request any copy of these guides by contacting our Public Awareness Coordinator at [email protected]


Community Presentations

Our goal is to help individuals and communities learn more about dementia and understand how to become more supportive, accessible, and inclusive for those affected by it. In addition to creating resources for different types of communities, we also host numerous events aimed at increasing Saskatchewan residents’ basic knowledge of dementia, the warning signs, and how to reduce the risks of dementia. We regularly offer the ABC Warning Signs of Dementia and Risk Reduction presentations. Please note, we do not record these presentations, but you can contact us to book an event for your community.

We offer specific presentations on Dementia Friendly Community practices- such as our Dementia Friendly Community Conversation featuring panelists from across Canada working on building dementia friendly communities, a Community Conversation with panelists from Libraries across Saskatchewan, and a Community Conversation highlighting the actions you can take to reduce your risks of dementia discussed with two registered dieticians, Dr. Allison Cammer and Julie Beitel. 

Our annual Public Awareness events included Understanding Dementia on January 17th- presented by Dr. Megan Surkan and Healthier Brains Community Presentation on March 11th -featuring research by Dr. Cindy Barha.

We have these presentations available for viewing on our YouTube Page:


To discover what events we have coming up, please visit our website:

Our communities can become more inclusive and accessible for people living with dementia and their care partners. Contact Erica Zarazun, the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan’s lead on Dementia Friendly Communities to find out how you can be part of the solution. Email: [email protected]

What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

February 5, 2024

Community changes everything. Dementia friendly communities promote locally based supports and address barriers experienced by individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Read on to learn how you can support building dementia friendly communities.

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Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan

We understand that rural communities present their own unique challenges and opportunities when addressing the issue of dementia. The project is offering a window of opportunity to greatly expand our knowledge and understanding of how to engage rural communities to be more dementia friendly

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Pictures of people with their communities of support

First Link®

First Link® connects people living with dementia and their families to information, support services and education as early as possible and throughout the progression of the disease.

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Smiling Alzheimer Society client