Dementia-friendly communities

As dementia affects more people, dementia-friendly installations across communities, rather than just health and social care, will be needed.

In its report, Dementia 2015: Aiming higher to transform lives*, Alzheimer's Society recommended 8 actions that will ensure people affected by dementia can live well with the condition.

Action 7: Drive forward dementia-friendly communities

This action was included in the dementia challenge, launched in 2012 by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. It stands alongside driving improvements in health and care and improving dementia research. It has been driven forward by Alzheimer's Society and Public Health England and resulted in the development of Dementia Friends, a network of volunteers who help dementia friendly communities. There are now over one million Dementia Friends in the UK and 105 communities working towards being dementia friendly.

Alzheimer's Society, working with the British Standards Institution (BSI), launched a consultation on a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) which takes the form of a code of practice for communities working towards becoming dementia friendly at Alzheimer's Society annual conference in July 2014. Copies of the PAS can be obtained through enquiry at the Alzheimer's Society website form.

With an original target of 20 Dementia-Friendly Communities by March 2015, Alzheimer's Society now have over 115 registered communities and an ambition set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge 2020 of at least 50% of people living in dementia-friendly communities by the end of 2020.

This work shows that designing for dementia is becoming a necessary part of planning, whatever the project.