Step 2: Engage with Residents
While an action team works to assess community needs and develop a dementia friendly community action plan, it often makes sense to concurrently take some initial steps to help its team and community members understand dementia, and what it means for people who are living with the condition. There are several ways to raise awareness, for example:
- Share 2.5-minute videos depicting life with dementia and the benefits of dementia friendly communities. View sector vignettes from Dementia Friendly America that offer profession-specific guidance.
- Convene a dementia friendly night at the local library where a person living with the dementia talks about what it would mean to live in a dementia friendly community
- Convene Dementia Friends information session(s) Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia.
- Convene training for community professionals available from the Alzheimer’s Association MA/ NH Chapter. For more information about this free training entitled, “Dementia & Your Community,” call 1-800-272-3900.
Additionally, dementia friendly communities work best when members of the community participate and work together. Communities will typically gather people from their city or town who have expressed enthusiasm for making their community more dementia friendly. Many action teams hold an informational session to inform the general public about the intention of introducing dementia friendly actions. Invitation and outreach materials are available to help generate interest and recruit residents including people living with dementia and their care partners, civic leaders, and local government officials.