Part 2. Inclusion of people with dementia; involvement, participation, influencing: case studies
The second essential factor in developing ‘dementia-friendly communities’ was the inclusion and involvement of people with dementia.
In some ways this seems obvious; how can a community be dementia-friendly if people with dementia are not included and involved?
The importance of supporting people to remain autonomous, independent and self-determining for as long as possible was a particular theme in the literature from England, Germany and Belgium, as identified in the literature review.
It was clear from an analysis of the survey findings that inclusion and involvement could be defined in many different ways.
These included ensuring people living with dementia:
- were not excluded from receiving care and support provided to groups with other disabilities or health conditions in the community;
- were able to access to ordinary community activities so people living with dementia could continue with their day to day lives (e.g. shops, theatres, cinemas, galleries, museums, libraries, parks, restaurants, cafes, public transport, leisure services, churches and faith groups, community groups, etc.);
- were actively involved in ordinary community activities (e.g. volunteering, choirs, outdoor activities, etc.);
- were actively involved in activities specifically aimed at developing ‘dementia-friendly communities’ (e.g. giving talks, planning activities, speaking to the media, checking on how dementia-friendly a community was, etc.);
- had opportunities to be active citizens and campaigners (through empowerment groups actively involving or led by people living with dementia).
The report also noted that inclusion and involvement was sometimes defined as including the whole community, not just people with dementia.
Although this section focuses on the inclusion and involvement of people with dementia it is recognised that a ‘whole community’ approach is also important and supports the development of ‘dementia-friendly communities’ – a number of examples in this paper illustrate this.
The rest of this section of the mapping paper lists all ‘dementia-friendly community’ projects that were found across Europe, that come under the heading of ‘inclusion of people with dementia: involvement, participation, influencing’.