Imagine a world in which people who have dementia are understood instead of stigmatized. Imagine a world in which workers in businesses and services have the skills to help people with dementia use their services safely and successfully. Imagine a world in which we acknowledge the potential of people who have dementia, and we help them make positive contributions to our communities.
If you provide care for a person who has dementia, you probably imagine these things a lot. The UK’s Alzheimer’s Society does too, and their vision of what life should be like for people with dementia is outlined in their new report, Building Dementia-Friendly Communities: A Priority for Everyone
. The report outlines a number of ways in which we can achieve this, including ensuring that:
People have access to early diagnosis and support.
Health and social care services deliver care that’s sensitive to the needs of people with dementia.
People with the disease have access to all the help they need—whether they live at home or in care.
Transport services and professionals are consistent, reliable, and respectful.
People who have dementia are included in leisure and entertainment activities throughout their communities.
According to the report, less than half of people with dementia in the UK feel that they’re a part of their community. Even fewer people feel a part of something as their dementia progresses. They feel constrained by the disease and lack the support they need to engage in life.
The report also gives examples of dementia-friendly communities that are taking action to help people who have the disease. Plymouth, England, for example, has implemented a dementia awareness program for 400 retail outlets throughout its city center.
Watch Kim Warchol talking about building strong support systems for people with dementia and their families:
to help you provide high-quality dementia care.