Dementia Supportive Communities
Making Wales a dementia supportive nation by building and promoting dementia supportive communities
In 2013 there was an estimated 45,529 people living with dementia in Wales, of
those people, only 17,661 had received a formal diagnosis. By 2021 it is estimated
that over 55,000 people in Wales will have dementia. Developing dementia
supportive communities is crucial to the wellbeing of older people, especially the
thousands of people living with dementia, regardless of official diagnosis, and the
people around them that are also affected.
People affected by dementia talk about the everyday challenges they face in living
well with dementia. This can include difficulty using technology, getting appropriate
service in shops, banks and post offices, using transport, going on holiday and
maintaining social contact and hobbies. Although help from health and care services
is vitally important, making it possible for people affected by dementia to live well will
require help from people and organisations across society.
A dementia supportive community is any community that shows a high level of
public awareness and understanding of dementia (for example, a local or national
organisation such as a shop, bank or corporation, or a village, town or city). Such
communities are more inclusive of people with dementia, and improve their ability
to remain independent and have voice, choice and control over their lives. Creating
dementia supportive communities requires a social movement: one that mobilises
all sections of society to act, respond and give their time, inspired by the ambition to
make their community more dementia friendly.
As emphasised by the Welsh Government’s National Dementia Vision for Wales,
people who receive an early diagnosis of dementia and are given access to appropriate information, support and care, are able to live well with dementia. The Dementia Supportive Communities network will work to facilitate this and encourage
the development of communities and have the capacity to support people affected
by dementia so they can enjoy the best possible quality of life.
The network recognises that it is not only the individual who is affected by dementia,
it also impacts on their family, friends, colleagues and carers. Ageing Well in Wales
therefore uses the term ‘people affected by dementia’ to recognise the wider effects
of dementia beyond the individual.