Community support can greatly increase the quality of life for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Increased awareness of dementia can lead to greater public understanding of symptoms and how to care for individuals with dementia. Unfortunately, stigma is a problem for those living with dementia and their caregivers. Engaging communities and having conversations about dementia at all stages of life is essential to decreasing stigma associated with dementia.
Communities across our state are working to fight the stigma and you can join!
Stigma is being addressed locally and internationally with the development of Dementia Friendly Communities. The goal of Dementia Friendly Communities is to create community environments where those with dementia are considered. Knoxville, TN was one of the first cities in the United States to become a “Purple City” and be completely dementia friendly. This effort was led by the Purple Cities Alliance who is now working across Tennessee to make more cities designated Purple Cities. In 2019, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) offered grant funding to support dementia friendly community efforts in local communities. As part of the initiative, TDH is developing a TN Dementia Friendly Community toolkit to assist other communities in their efforts.
Other community organizations that are involved in support and dementia friendly initiatives include religious communities and law enforcement officers. The Tennessee Department of Health’s Dementia Friendly Toolkit includes a section on working with emergency personnel and law enforcement officers. Additionally, Alzheimer’s Tennessee conducts statewide law enforcement training and POST (Peace Officer Standards Training) approved. Contact Alzheimer’s Tennessee at 888 326-9888 to schedule training sessions.
Religious organizations are also becoming more involved in supporting those living with dementia and their caregivers by learning to recognize behaviors associated with dementia, training members to accept and assist those with special needs in worship settings and providing respite and day care options through the congregation.
This Page Last Updated: October 11, 2021 at 1:35 PM