The third essential factor in developing the so called ‘dementia-friendly communities’ involved building partnerships, networks and collaborations. Communities are made up of many different groups, organisations and services and clearly no one organisation can initiate the development process of a ‘dementia-friendly community’ on its own. Collaboration, both through formal and informal processes is essential.
In most countries where the study « Mapping dementia-friendly communities across Europe » identified significant activity developing ‘dementia-friendly communities’, partnerships, networks and collaborations existed at regional, municipal or local levels, involving public services and officials (e.g. mayors), NGOs, businesses, public authorities, community groups, faith organisations, people living with dementia and their families. In some countries they also existed at a national level, most notably England, with its National Dementia Action Alliance.
These partnerships had many functions including sharing information, learning and resources, monitoring progress and impact, supporting members and promoting ‘dementia-friendly communities’, and enabling community development and cohesion.
Examples of partnerships and networks included:
- Informal support networks of organisations
- Networks co-ordinated by a dedicated team or individual
- Formal stakeholder steering groups or governing bodies
The rest of this section of the mapping lists all ‘dementia-friendly community’ projects that were found across Europe, that come under the heading of ‘building partnerships, networks and collaborations’.