2015: Is Europe becoming more dementia friendly?
Understandings of the DFC in the country
In the Netherlands, the concept of DFC is being developed by the local chapters of Alzheimer Netherlands, the local municipalities and provincial government organisations. There is no universal definition of the term, however there is a common view that in a dementia-friendly community the life of people with dementia should be “as easy as possible”. In a dementia-friendly society people with dementia can continue to participate for longer, if they so wish. Alzheimer Netherlands promotes a movement where diverse kind of initiatives can be developed, and where it is acknowledged that every person can make a contribution to make the society more dementia friendly.
To date, in the Netherlands, there are 70 regions, 40 cities (25 in Noord Brabant, 10 in Gooi en Vechtstreek and 5 in Midden Kennemerland) and 30 villages working towards becoming dementia friendly.
As partners of the Deltaplan Dementia, Alzheimer Netherlands and PGGM (pension management organization) initiate the Dementia Friends programme. This five year programme is supported by the Department of VWS (Health, Welfare and Sports). This programme focuses on increasing awareness of dementia, and the knowledge and skills in how to recognize and deal with dementia by an online and offline training programme and helping and inspiring dementia friends on an online platform.
Steps to build a DFC in the country
Three key aspects in the development of a DFC in the Netherland are:
- The whole community has to be involved (working collectively and involving all members of the community).
- The work should involve and encourage the participation of different stakeholders and organisations (e.g. social, cultural, sport organizations).
- All activities should have a positive impact on the quality of life of people with dementia.
A symbol for the communities working towards becoming dementia friend has been developed.
Measuring and monitoring progress
To date, in the Netherlands, the progress of the DFCs is not been monitored or evaluated.
Examples of DFC in the country
Network dementia-friendly municipality Bladel
The work towards becoming dementia friendly in the town of Bladel started in 2012 and to date 12 different organisations have been involved. The network dementia-friendly municipality Bladel aims to build a community where living well with dementia is possible. The mains goals are to break existing taboos and negative perceptions of dementia and to increase awareness of dementia, so that people with dementia feel accepted, supported and enabled to participate in the community. Several actions have been developed, one example is a theater evening to raise awareness and understanding of dementia. They plan to deliver dementia training sessions to the police force.
For further information please see: http://dementievriendelijk.nl/bladel/
Since April 2015, the town of Blakbrug has been working towards becoming dementia friendly. There are 12 organisations involved in this initiative. Among other actions, the municipality is planning to set up walking groups for people with dementia.
Since April 2015, the town of Doorn has been working towards becoming dementia friendly. There are a number of local organisations involved and this work has been ﬁnancially supported by the local municipality. So far, they have provided training on dementia to a well-known chain of supermarkets in the area (Albert Heijn). In this chain of supermarkets, fifteen employees have received training on dementia and supporting clients with dementia.
Last Updated: Monday 18 July 2016