Dementia Friendly Communities

Join us in creating safe and supportive spaces for people with dementia by learning how to create a Dementia Friendly Community!

What is a Dementia Friendly Community?

A dementia friendly community focuses on stigma reduction and the inclusion of people living with dementia in the places they work, live and play. When people living with dementia are met with compassion and are acknowledged as rightful members of society, dementia is brought into the open where we can address it together.

People with dementia and their care partners have the right to live well in the community, together. As more people are diagnosed with dementia every year and choose to live at home, we need to determine how we can better support people living with dementia.

Everyone – local governments, the professional sector, community groups and the general public – can work towards becoming more dementia friendly.

Join thousands in our region in showing your support for people living with dementia and their care partners. Together, we can create a more dementia friendly community.

Help Make Your Community Dementia Friendly

There are many ways to get involved with Dementia Friendly Communities and we all have a role to play. It all starts with learning more about dementia.  

Choose the option or options that work best for you and your needs. For example – start off becoming a Dementia Friend and then spread the word! Get others involved at your favourite local businesses, community groups, or where you work or volunteer.

Dementia Friend

A Dementia Friend learns more about dementia and what they can do to help make our region a more accessible and inclusive place. A Friend can be a neighbour, a co-worker, a volunteer, a book club member, a small business owner, a ride-share driver – anyone who wants to learn more about dementia and (hopefully) spread the word!

Simple, small everyday acts of support, kindness and understanding can make a big difference in the lives of people living with dementia, their families and care partners. Eloquently described by a person living with dementia, “dementia friendly is informed kindness”.

The more you learn about dementia, the more you will be able to connect with a person who has it in a way that is supportive and inclusive. People living with dementia are just like all of us and their quality of life depends greatly on how well they connect with others. A Friend can also use their knowledge to help reduce stigma – by sharing with others why dementia matters to them.

Steps you can take:

    1. Watch one (or more) of the following videos (e.g. Jim’s Story (BC – 6:54) – Small Changes (UK – 3:35) – )


    2. [Fall 2021] – Sign up for “Building Dementia Friendly Communities” online education and complete Module 1 (What is a Dementia Friendly Community?) and Module 2 (Dementia Friendly Interactions) – * It is recommended to select the “Retail/Restaurant” stream


    3. Stay connected! Sign up for our quarterly “Dementia Friends” e-newsletter


    4. Book an in-person or virtual information session for your group/organization *In-person availability based on COVID restrictions

Dementia Friendly Community Supporter

Businesses, organizations, community groups and municipal governments who wish to receive formal recognition for their dementia-friendly initiatives will be interested in pursuing this option.

Over the last six years, Alzheimer Societies across Ontario have worked alongside people living with dementia, care partners and community partners as we work toward building dementia friendly communities. We have learned a great deal throughout this process and now have a provincial decal to acknowledge those organizations who take Dementia Friendly Communities training* and commit to supporting the Dementia Friendly Communities movement. This will help to raise awareness across our community and create more inclusive and accessible places and spaces!

* “Supporters” will make a formal commitment to have at least 60% of staff (and volunteers, as applicable) trained, with a plan in place to train the remaining staff/volunteers within six months. Supporters will also identify an internal champion or champions who will work with the Society on an ongoing basis for regular follow-up visits/check-ins (within: 6 months, 1 year, annually). Champion(s) will update the Society on training requirements (e.g. new staff/volunteers, additional targeted training support, training refresher, etc.). Supporters will be encouraged and supported to develop a dementia-friendly action plan to sustain the initiative and affect meaningful change. In addition to a commitment to raising dementia awareness and communications skills among staff, changes could include improving the accessibility of signage and other physical environmental features and incorporating dementia into accessibility and inclusion plans.

In recognition, Supporters will receive a “Dementia Friendly Community Supporter” decal to use in accordance with the “DFC Decal Recipient Agreement”. Additional recognition opportunities to be available through the Supporter Showcase and Society social media sites.

For more information and to get started, please call XXX-XXX-XXXX or e-mail


<Image/Graphic> PLWD (and CP) with employee in a business <image/graphic> PLWD (and CP) at a municipal site/recreation centre


Supporter Showcase

Dementia Friendly Community Innovator

Individuals, businesses, organizations, community groups and municipal governments who wish to share their innovative dementia-friendly ideas and initiatives will be interested in pursuing this option.

Innovators can also be Friends and Supporters!

What dementia-friendly practices, services or activities have you done or are you doing that you’d like to share with others in our community?

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Have you included persons with lived experience in developing the innovation? Who else was involved?
    • What was the problem? (See above.)
    • How did you respond to the problem?
    • What was the result?
    • How will you sustain it?
    • What “problem” were you trying to address? (Was the problem brought forward by a person living with dementia and/or a care partner?)


Steps you can take:

How to submit your innovation:

    • Submit a short video (3 min max). Be sure to address the questions above. OR
    • Submit a short story (max 500 words) and image to include with your story. Be sure to address the questions above.

Your submission will be reviewed for inclusion. We will contact you if we have any questions.

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