Creating a Dementia Friendly Western Australia

What is a Dementia-Friendly Community?

A dementia-friendly community is a place where people with dementia are supported to continue living with meaning, purpose and value. Each dementia-friendly community will be different to the next, but will include at least one or more of the following:
  • Businesses that provide accessible services for people with dementia, including staff who understand the disease and know how to communicate effectively with people with dementia.
  • Organisations that provide paid work.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Sporting clubs and social groups that are welcoming and inclusive.
  • Adult education facilities that support new learning such as learning a new language or instrument.
  • Environments that are enabling and compensate for the disabilities of dementia.

Why do we need to make WA a Dementia-Friendly Community?

Social stigma has a devastating impact on the lives of people with dementia. Post-diagnosis not only brings cognitive changes, but also changes how family and friends respond to that person. Increased community awareness about dementia will support people to continue involvement in activities they enjoy, reduce social isolation and add meaning, value and purpose to their day-to-day lives. Improving physical environment, such as the use of appropriate signage, lighting and colours, will make it easier for people with dementia to remain engaged in their community.

How do we create a Dementia-Friendly WA?

AAWA has received a WA Social Innovations Grant to support the development of a dementia-friendly WA.
The focus of the project is to;
  1. Address the stigma many people with dementia face;
  2. Respond to the needs and challenges expressed by people living with dementia in their local community;
  3. Provide sustainable outcomes for both businesses and communities that meet the national framework for dementia in WA; and
  4. Develop enabling environments for people with dementia that will focus on public spaces and streetscape planning.

Creating Dementia Friendly Environments

The design of a building can have a significant impact on the accessibility and enablement of a person with dementia. Alzheimer’s Australia WA, in partnership with the University of Wollongong, has created the Dementia Enabling Environments website to help you understand evidence based dementia design principles and give practical advice and tips on creating a dementia friendly home, care facility or public building. The DFC-EAT environmental audit tool can help guide you through assessing your public building and is freely available on the DEEP website.

Dementia Friendly Communities Project: Creating a Dementia Friendly WA

The report identified stigma as a key challenge for more than 300 people living with dementia and carers who provided personal experiences for the study.

People living with dementia and their carers stated the biggest problems are attitudes, understanding and awareness. In particular, the concerns were a lack of understanding or patience, a lack of family support as well as general negative attitudes.

Dementia Friendly Communities Project: Creating a Dementia Friendly WA

Guidelines for the Development of Dementia-Friendly Communities

A practical model for local Governments, Civic Services and Community Organisations.

Guidelines for the Development of Dementia-Friendly Communities