An initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging

Neighbors and Community Members

by | Jun 4, 2019

People make the community.  Actions by neighbors and local workers contribute to the success of any community effort, including the development of a dementia-friendly initiative.  While people can introduce change in their respective community sector, individuals can still practice and promote dementia-friendly actions.

To support neighbors with cognitive impairment, people should first learn about dementia and practical communication techniques. While in public, community members can identify someone exhibiting signs of dementia and offer support as needed.  Recognizing signs of dementia in an undiagnosed person can lead to early intervention treatments that may slow the progression of cognitive decline.

Spread dementia awareness by becoming an advocate or Dementia Friends Champion.  Reduce the stigma surrounding dementia by educating others in the community.

All older people, but especially those with dementia, are vulnerable to abuse or neglect.  If you suspect that a senior that you know is experiencing physical, sexual, financial, emotional, or psychological abuse, make an anonymous report by calling (800) 922-2275.  Neglect should also be reported even if you believe the care partner is well-intentioned. Investigations into reported cases determine how the suspected victim can best be helped and, when appropriate, may result in responsible care partners having greater access to resources.

DF America Sector Guide- Community Based Services and Supports

Dementia Identification and Awareness

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Association- 10 Early Signs of dementia

Alzheimer’s Association- Becoming an Advocate

Dementia Friends Massachusetts

Family Caregiver’s Alliance- Ten Tips for Communicating with a Person with Dementia (PDF download)

Helping Your Neighbors

Alzheimer’s Australia- Friends Matter (PDF Download)

Edgewood Healthcare- Helping Neighbors with Dementia

ElderCare Locator- Living Well with Dementia in the Community

Senior Advisor- When Your Elderly Neighbor Needs Help

Sound Option- Helping a Friend with Dementia

The Lived Neighborhood: Understanding How People with Dementia Engage With Their Local Environment

Aging Life Care- What to Do When Your Elderly Neighbor Needs Help

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