Europe is facing unprecedented demographic changes with an increasing ageing population. There are an estimated 8.7 million people living with dementia in Europe and this number is expected to rise. Although dementia is not a natural consequence of ageing, the impact of the condition on the elderly is set to grow. In the absence of a cure or universally effective treatments for dementia, in the foreseeable future, there is both the opportunity and necessity for creative, positive community-based initiatives to support people living with dementia, not only to live well but also be active participants in their communities. It is crucial that ‘dementia-friendly community’ initiatives situate people with dementia at the centre, maintaining a view of them as people, citizens, and equal members of society, not just service users or patients.
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Mapping dementia-friendly communities across Europe
The report “Mapping dementia-friendly communities across Europe” was commissioned by the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) and carried out by the Mental Health Foundation (a UK non-governmental organisation) in 2014 and 2015. The research originated from a shared interest of the foundations engaged in EFID in conducting an analysis of concepts and practices of what is commonly referred to as ‘dementia-friendly communities’ (DFCs) and similar initiatives across Europe. The aim of the report is to provide practical information, guidance and examples to support good practice around sustainable, inclusive and supportive environments for people living with dementia and their carers.
The report is accompanied by an online collection of case studies that illustrate the diversity of ‘dementia-friendly community’ activity in Europe. The online ‘mapping paper’ “Dementia-friendly community case studies across Europe” is available on the EFID website (www.efid.info).
Note: the text above is from the European Commission website.