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P5: Dementia-friendly initiatives

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

P5: Dementia-friendly initiatives

P5.1. Building dementia friendly communities – sharing the learning from the independent evaluations of York and Bradford

HARE Philly

York and Bradford, though both cities in Yorkshire and only 60 kms apart, are very different places – with different histories, resources and cultural make-up. The approaches they have taken to build DFCs are also quite different.

The presenter is Philly Hare, Programme Manager for JRF’s Dementia without Walls programme. She will start with a very short film (2 minutes) about DFCs, featuring a York couple affected by dementia, and their local dementia friendly cafe. This will set the ‘human tone’ and emphasise the centrality of people with dementia in DFCs. Philly will then summarise the key findings of the evaluations and draw out the learning points. These will include learning on:

  • Bottom-up or top-down?
  • Enabling ‘a thousand flowers to bloom’: the role of small grants and local ‘champions’
  • The role of the local authority
  • The principle of inclusion
  • Reaching out to the most marginalised groups (e.g. local BME and LGBT communities)
  • The meaningful involvement of people affected by dementia (with specific examples)
  • The power of networks: dementia action alliances and  the national involvement network (DEEP)
  • Local impact
  • The future: commitment, investment and sustainability

The session should be of interest not only to policy-makers and professional practitioners, but also to people affected by dementia, community activists and event the general public. The overall aim of the session is to share learning (both positive and negative) with those engaged (or planning to be engaged) in similar endeavours. We hope that they will leave encouraged and informed with plenty of practical ideas of how they can move forward in their own localities, based on our learning about what works best.

P5.2. Dementia friendly America: a private-public partnership to foster living well with dementia in U.S. communities


A cross-sector collaborative of national organizations and individuals living with dementia have organized to advance a Dementia Friendly America. We are building on the Minnesota model, ACT on Alzheimer’s (See, previously presented at Alzheimers Europe) to offer a national resource and technical assistance process to engage communities in becoming dementia friendly.  The collaborative is uniquely positioned to leverage change and achieve spread because its members can activate their state and local affiliates from health, long term care, financial services, legal, business, faith, federal and state government, law enforcement, cultural community networks and Alzheimer’s disease and aging organizations. The collaborative goal is to improve quality for life for people living with dementia in community and their care partners by offering a national resource and technical assistance tools by first quarter 2016 and pilot and evaluate geographically and culturally diverse communities across the U.S.  An evaluation will set goals for and measure success against agreed upon indicators including:

•               Improved quality of life for persons living with dementia and their care partners

•               Increased awareness of and confidence across community sectors in supporting persons with dementia and care partners

•               Increased dementia-friendly services and practices

•               Increased rates of detection/diagnosis and referral to community supports

This initiative is unique worldwide in that is it privately rather than publicly run (although government agencies are actively involved).  Individuals living with dementia and their care partners are instrumental in shaping and guiding the effort. 

The presenters will present:

1)            A brief overview of the comprehensive collaboration;

2)            The dementia friendly resources used in the initiative and the overall research basis for the four phase approach;

3)            Instruction on how to use the resources in any community

4)            Case studies to show how the Toolkit is being implemented in distinct pilot communities;

5)            Evaluation plans and progress to date..

P5.3. Dementia friendly communities: an integral approach facilitated by higher education

SMITS Carolien H.M., GROEN-VAN DE VEN Leontine,  VISSER Geraldine

Introduction: A dementia friendly society is meaningful to all participants. Such a society requires collaboration between partners in the public, private and profit domain. Participation of people with dementia and their relatives contributes to meaningful results. An integrated approach addresses both the social and physical domain of society. So far we do not know how (higher) education may contribute to a dementia friendly society.

Methods: We piloted six interventions from an integrated, participative perspective: (a) positive views of dementia (b) a swimming programme for people with dementia and their carers (c) a dementia friendly hospital (d) dementia friendly local policies (e) the Dementia Shop (f) simulation kit dementia 24*7. Bachelor students (applied gerontology and nursing) facilitated and evaluated these pilots. They were supported by lecturers and researchers. A sounding board of older adults reflected on the aims and structure of the projects.

Results: Students, lecturers and researchers contribute to a dementia friendly society by facilitating and evaluating innovative projects. Participants appreciate the activities of students. Students enjoy participating in dementia friendly projects. Their progress benefits from (1) innovative and creative interactions (2) interaction with a variety of participants: people with dementia, their family carers, students, lecturers researchers, care professionals and policy makers.

Conclusion and Practice implications: Higher education can contribute to a dementia friendly society. Universities of Applied Sciences should invest in involving students in creative and innovative projects. Interaction with people with dementia may help take away negative stereotyping.

P5.4. Dementia Friendly Society - Living in the community


Risky Business “Supports staff and volunteers to feel more confident in using a balanced approach to risk-benefit assessments” This approach will then help ensure that life with dementia is worth living and is connected to both nature and a sense of adventure.”

People with dementia have the right to live a full life connected to the people and places they love and that keep them well. Since 2009 the national dementia strategy for England “Living well with dementia” invited us all to rethink the way we responded to the challenge of maintaining a good quality of life for people with dementia and their families.  A new generation of people are now living with dementia and a new generation of staff are supporting them. We believe that regular contact with and connection with nature is an integral part of what it means to ‘live well’.  We also believe that taking risks is a key feature of living well.  Often people living with dementia have limited choices in their lives or live in care situations with over-protective cultures leading to many people being safe but desperately unhappy.  Risks do need to be carefully assessed and managed but an analysis of risks is only half the story. We must also equally examine the benefits of the activity we are undertaking.  We must also think differently about the possible choices on offer to people with dementia and ‘expand our horizons’ when thinking about introducing new activities and services. Only then can we support people living with dementia to thrive and have a sense of adventure in their lives.

Neil will present the positive benefits of the ‘Risky Business’ approach and a person with dementia will show a film of their experience and tell their own story.

P5.5. Towards dementia friendly community with Alzheimer Café


We received the information about Alzheimer Cafe in June 2012 at the Alzheimer Europe lunch debate meeting in Brussels. Our colleagues from Netherland provided us with the manual for Alzheimer Café. We have immediately started to work on the subject together with dr. Aleš Kogoj (psychiatrist) and Bojanka Genorio (director of Nursing home Fužine).

We have organized the first Alzheimer Café in Slovenia at Nursing home Fužine on 23. June 2012. The event was widely promoted in media. In addition to the family members and carers of persons with dementia, we invited journalists from all the relevant local and national media and others working or interested in this field. Already the first Alzheimer Café was a success! It turned out that in Slovenia we need such support groups meetings for families. Alzheimer Cafes quickly spread across Slovenia, now there are already more than 60 different locations for our country. Every event is widely promoted in national and local media to reach wide visibility of the subject and raise the awareness about dementia. With this publicity, we contribute to the destigmatisation of dementia and to Dementia friendly society.

The idea of Alzheimer Cafes is to organize gatherings of persons with dementia, their relatives, carers, friends and dementia experts and representatives of local association in a public place with a relaxed atmosphere like bistro, café, library… At each Alzheimer Café we have a presentation of a dementia related topic by an expert (health or social worker) or Spominčica representative, followed by a discussion and socializing. At these gatherings, participants are informed and educated about dementia, exchange information and experiences, talk with others and socialize. Besides the informative and social aspect, Alzheimer Cafes have a significant role in raising awareness about dementia.



Last Updated: Tuesday 29 September 2015


  • Acknowledgements

    The 25th AE Conference in Ljubljana received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). Alzheimer Europe and Spominčica gratefully acknowledge the support of all conference sponsors.
  • European Union
  • Roche
  • SCA Global Hygiene