Dementia friendly communities

A dementia friendly community is a place where you, as a person living with dementia, are understood, respected and supported. This may be a town, city or village. It involves people in that community proactively learning more about dementia, the signs and symptoms and the best ways to interact with you. It also involves members of the community having an awareness of the impact an environment can have on people living with dementia and a willingness to make changes so it becomes more dementia friendly.


In this You Tube video Karen Wood, Dementia Friendly Aberdeenshire Project Officer, discusses the importance of dementia friendly communities:



A dementia friendly community should reflect what people living with dementia want to see in their own community. There is no ‘one size fits all’ template.


If you are, or know of, a local business or community group looking to become more dementia friendly information and advice is available on the Alzheimer’s Society website.


The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP)’s guide Involving people with dementia in creating dementia friendly communities (pdf) has more information about shaping dementia friendly communities.


Dementia friendly Aberdeenshire

There are dementia friendly groups in Aberdeenshire, including:


Dementia Friendly Portlethen

The Conversation Café


Many people with dementia say they aren’t looking for activities specifically ‘for dementia’. They just want activities they can take part in. The Boogie in the Bar is a great example of this. It was started by someone with dementia and his carer in Aberdeen City. It is now being adopted across Aberdeenshire.


Aberdeenshire Council has supported projects to encourage dementia friendly initiatives. The Dementia Friendly Aberdeenshire project educated and supported local communities to make Aberdeenshire dementia friendly. The project ran for 3 years.


In this YouTube video La-Vonne Sim, Dementia Friendly Aberdeenshire Project Officer, talks about some of the practical changes one local business made to become more dementia friendly:


(A walk through the shop, 4:51 minutes)


Lived experiences: giving individuals a voice

Hearing the perspective and experiences of people with dementia is a helpful way of raising awareness and understanding. View a small selection of blogs written by people with dementia that are available online:



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