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Dementia Friendly Community

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dementia friendly

What is a Dementia Friendly Community (DFC)?         

A dementia friendly community is one that cares about its neighbors; one that listens to the feeling of its residents with dementia; one that sees the signs; one that understands the needs; and one that acts.

It’s a place where people with dementia will live as independently as possible. Where they will be valued and respected. Where they will engage in activities that we all take for granted and will be supported as these activities become more difficult. Where the changes in the person will be noticed, understood, and accepted.

A dementia friendly community is one that has looked at its shops, restaurants, markets, and streets through the eyes of a person with dementia; then does everything it can to make it a place where they can continue to live as independently as possible. When memory changes begin, many become more isolated, which frequently hastens the cognitive decline. A community that understands dementia will be one that supports and cares for its neighbors who are struggling to deal with loss of memories, loss of the ability to do routine activities, loss of jobs, loss of independence, and loss of self.


  1. Educate the community by increasing awareness and understanding of dementia-type diseases
  2. Decrease the stigma of the disease
  3. Foster community involvement
  4. Improve lives of those with dementia and those who care for someone with memory challenges

Where it began

The purple angel symbol was designed by Norman McNamara of Devon, UK together with Jane Moore, a carer from Cornwall. The emblem is being recognized globally as a symbol of hope with a purpose of bringing awareness about dementia and ending the stigma.

Learn more about the Purple Angel campaign.

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Communication Tips

Every person has a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. You can make a difference by increasing your sensitivity and awareness of the difficulty the person with dementia may have. These tips are helpful when communicating with a person with memory challenges.

Communication tips PDF logo

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Become a dementia friendly business or organization

There are a number of benefits to being a dementia friendly business or organization. It is an excellent way for a local business to give back to their community, and increase their business and name recognition, while providing a valuable service to a growing number of patrons.

To become a dementia friendly business or organization; the business or organization must commit to the following criteria:

Once a business or organization has been designated dementia friendly, they will receive a dementia friendly window cling to display.

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How to participate?

A dementia friendly community thrives with the involvement of both businesses and individual residents. If you are interested in making your community dementia friendly, contact the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin at 608.232.3400 or toll-free at 888.308.6251 for more details.

Volunteers Needed

Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of many? Join a dementia friendly task force or coalition in your area! Volunteers are needed with a variety of skills for a wide range of tasks from making phone calls and assembling materials to training businesses and doing community outreach.  Training and materials are provided. Contact ADAW at 608.232.3400 for more information.

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Business and employee resource guides

Coming soon! Printer friendly resource guides for business and employees will be available for download.

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