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Advisory Council April 2016 Meeting Presentation: Dementia Friendly America Program

Friday, April 29, 2016


Dementia Friendly American

Dementia Friendly America Initiative

  • Initiative Objective
    • Foster dementia friendly communities across the US
  • Relevance to NAPA Priorities: Dementia friendly communities foster:
    • Care and support
    • Long term services and supports
    • Research

Impetus for DFA

  • April 2014: Report to NAPA Advisory Council on Minnesota model, ACT on Alzheimer’s
  • May-December 2014: Recruited coalition of the willing to pursue DFA
  • January 2015: Convened DFA National Council
  • March-December 2015: Developed web resources and tools and recruited early adopter communities
  • July 2015: DFA announced at White House Conference on Aging

Sample of DFA National Participants

  • AARP
  • ACT on Alzheimer’s
  • Administration on Community Living (Federal Liaison)
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Argentum
  • Banner Health
  • BrightFocus Foundation
  • Banner Health
  • CVS Health
  • Dementia Action Alliance
  • Eli Lilly
  • Global CEO initiative
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (Federal Liaison)
  • Home Instead
  • Individuals living with dementia and care partners
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD)
  • LeadingAge
  • Otsuka Pharmaceutical Companies
  • National Alliance for Caregiving
  • National Association of Areas Agencies on Aging (n4a)
  • National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • National League of Cities
  • National Association of Counties
  • Volunteers of America
  • US Against Alzheimer’s, including Women’s, Clergy, African American, and Latino Networks

Resource Development: Web-based Tools and Resources

Screen shot of the Home Page.
Our website includes sector guides, provider tools, a community toolkit and other guidance for communities working towards becoming dementia friendly.

Alignment with Age-Friendly

Screen shot of Age and Dementia Friendly Communities. Cover of the report Better Together: A Comparative Analysis of Age-Friendly and Dementia Friendly Communities.

Community Web-Based Resource

Screen shot of a Overview Page illustration.

Taking an All Sectors Approach

Every part of community has a unique role in contributing to dementia friendliness.

  • Choices on the Tools and Resources page
    • Dementia Friendly Essentials
    • Banks and Financial Services
    • Neighbors and Community Members
    • Legal and Advance Planning Services
    • Government, Community, and Mobility Planning
    • Health Care Throughout the Continuum
    • Independent Living
    • Communities of Faith
    • Businesses
    • Government: Emergency Planning and Response
    • Memory Loss Supports and Services
    • Additional Guide Resources

Example Sector Guide

Community Toolkit Phases

  1. Convene key community leaders and members to understand dementia and its implications for your community. Then, form an Action Team.
  2. Engage key leaders to assess current strengths and gaps in your community using a comprehensive engagement tool.
  3. Analyze your community needs and determine the issues stakeholders are motivated to act on; then set community goals.
  4. ACT together to establish implementation plans for your goals and identify ways to measure progress.


  • Community Development Steps
    • Identify Champion and Coordinator
    • Readiness and Commitment Check
    • Convene Cross-Sector Action Team
    • Foster Contributions and Agreements Across Partners

The Action Team

  • Adult Day Programs
  • Employers/Human Resources
  • Community Members
    • Diverse & underserved populations
    • Local businesses and retail
    • Faith communities
    • Educational institutions
    • Service clubs
    • Youth groups
  • Caregiver Support Providers
  • Social Service Agencies
    • Wellness programs (nutrition, physical activity)
    • Engagement activities (creative arts, group programs)
    • Community-based services (chores, meal delivery, home safety)
  • Transportation Providers
  • Legal & Financial Planning
  • Health Care Community
  • Local Government
  • Residential Settings

Testing Ground: Minnesota Results

Minnesota map from ACT on Alzheimer's.
  • Awareness and education: Dementia Friends
  • Caregiver supports
  • New, meaningful community engagement opportunities (arts, music)
  • Cross-Sector Engagement and Training: business, government, law enforcement, youth, first responder and faith
  • Health system adoption of optimal dementia care practices

Momentum Rising

  • USAToday
  • 2015 White House Conference on Aging
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • California Health Report
  • Forbes
  • NextAvenue
  • The Boston Globe

DFA Network in July 2015

United States map showing push pins in California (Santa Clara County), Arizona (Tempe), Colorado (Denver), Minnesota, West Virginia, Maryland (Prince Georges County).

DFA Network Today

United States map showing Early Adopters, Committing/Preparing, and Inquiring states.
Early Adopters states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, West Virginia.
Committing/Preparing states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington.
Inquiring states: Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

DFA Communities Update

  • Local, regional, county and state level engagement in 2016 (handout)
  • A few highlights and lessons learned
  • States/regional governments are becoming an increasingly important vehicle for accelerating movement; inclusion in state AD plans
  • This is influencing approach to technical assistance

Technical Assistance Role Evolution

  • Promote and encourage communities to work to become dementia friendly (webinars, visits)
  • Link communities to resources
  • Connect with Age-friendly and other like-missioned groups
  • Provide process and content TA via planning, facilitation, back-office, training, coaching, resource access and connection to other community learnings

State-Based Technical Assistance Model

  • DFA Centralized TA for States
    • State Level TA
    • Local Community Organizations/Leaders
  • DFA TA HUB (n4a) Support states and connect to specific training expertise
    • State/Regional Lead Agency
    • Nat'l Council members with specific expertise

Next Iteration: Dementia Friends

  • Individual engagement opportunity
  • Online registration program accessible to anyone to view video shorts and commit to be a friend
  • Person-to person trainings in DFA communities
  • Trackable and conducive to call to action
  • Mutually reinforcing with dementia friendly community effort and Brain Health campaign

Dementia Friends: Administration

  • UK Alzheimer’s Society (Licensor)
  • DFA holds license and administers nationally and reports progress
  • Contracts with states and organizations that want to use Program
  • Contractors are trained and report friend numbers to DFA

Desired Impact: What are we aiming for?

  • Community Capability: Adoption of dementia friendly practices within and across all community sectors (e.g., faith, business, government, health care)
  • Person with Dementia--Well-Being
  • Care Partner Efficacy
  • Care Partner Support and Family Health
  • System Capability: Adoption of optimal dementia care and supports in health, long term care and community services


  • To date DFA has been a privately funded, boot-strapped endeavor
  • Long term sustainability will depend on support for:
    • Centralized Technical Assistance Hub
    • Formal evaluation
    • Possible community seeding through dementia capability grants and other avenues

Contact for Questions