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Dementia Friendly Communities

Alzheimer's WA Christmas Appeal

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 with dementia.
  • Organisations that provide paid work.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Sporting clubs and social groups that are welcoming and inclusive.
  • Adult education facilities that support new learning such as learning a new language or instrument.
  • Environments that are enabling and compensate for the disabilities of dementia.

Why do we need to make WA a Dementia-Friendly Community?

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. Improving physical environment, such as the use of appropriate signage, lighting and colours, will make it easier for people with dementia to remain engaged in their community.

How do we create a Dementia-Friendly WA?

For phase 3, AWA has received Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI) funding towards the development of a dementia-friendly WA.

The focus of the project is to;

  1. Address the stigma many people with dementia face;
  2. Respond to the needs and challenges expressed by people living with dementia in their local community;
  3. Provide support to businesses in the community to make improvements to their services, procedures and environment to better meet the needs of people living with dementia;

Involving people living with dementia:

Consulting with people living with dementia is a positive first step toward becoming dementia friendly, highlighting the strengths and areas for opportunity within the community or business profile.

Alzheimers WA have carried out consultations in the following locations and will continue to support these communities towards becoming dementia friendly:

  • Floreat
  • Wanneroo
  • Rockingham
  • Mandurah
  • Midland
  • Armadale
  • Melville
  • Bunbury
  • Albany
  • Northam
  • Kalgoorlie
  • Geraldton
  • Esperance

Creating Dementia Friendly Environments

The design of a building can have a significant impact on the accessibility and enablement of a person with dementia. Alzheimer’s Australia WA, in partnership with the University of Wollongong, has created the Dementia Enabling Environments (DEEP) website to help you understand evidence based dementia design principles and give practical advice and tips on creating a dementia friendly home, care facility or public building. The DFC-EAT environmental audit tool can help guide you through assessing your public building and is freely available on the DEEP website.


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