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What is a dementia-friendly community?

Each and every part of the community can work toward becoming dementia-friendly. As each sector takes its own steps to foster support, a community that is informed, safe and respectful emerges to foster quality of life for those living with dementia and their care partners. The work toward dementia friendliness involves:

  • Raising awareness about dementia and transforming attitudes
  • Having supportive options that foster quality of life
  • Supporting caregivers and families touched by the disease
  • Promoting meaningful participation in community life
  • Reaching those who are underserved

In a dementia-friendly community, people living with dementia have autonomy, a high quality of life, and are engaged with the community. The right community services and supports make this possible by taking a “whole person” or person-centered approach that helps people with dementia and their care partners live meaningful lives and reach their full potential.


Dementia-friendly faith communities can provide an important spiritual respite. As welcoming, compassionate environments, they offer families coping with dementia opportunities for meaningful engagement and spiritual connection. Through dementia friendly practices, entire faith communities can embrace and uplift people with dementia and their care partners.

“DOTS Grants” (Dementia-capable Outreach Training and Support)

The goal of DOTS, offered through the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, is to improve quality of care and increase access to comprehensive and disease appropriate services for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and their family caregivers across multiple settings. To learn more about DOTS, click here.