Step One: Create an Action Team; Identify a Leader or Co-Leaders
Action teams are comprised of residents, community representatives, local government officials, or anyone in the community interested in shaping the dementia friendly initiative in their city or town. Its members should include representatives from at least three community sectors. While conducting their work, action teams should involve people directly affected by dementia. Action teams have a leader or co-leaders responsible for convening and leading the team’s collaborative work. Some examples of community leaders include members of the local faith community, a home care agency owner, a librarian, or a former Council on Aging Board member. The action team is responsible for reviewing resident needs; assessing options for addressing those needs; and developing and implementing an action plan. As action teams review the needs of their residents, some helpful resources include the community profiles and The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report developed by UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute with the support of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.