The role of local place based organisations in promoting inclusion and continuity within Dementia Friendly Communities

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Abstract

Background and Objectives
Dementia-friendly communities (DFCs) enable people living with dementia to be active citizens. Public organisations who are part of the local social economy are often named as DFC partners. This paper explores how their involvement affects DFCs’ impact.
Research Design and Methods
A national evaluation of DFCs mapped their location in relation to people known to have dementia, reviewed the activities offered by 100 DFCs and studied six geographically disparate case study sites. This paper reports on case study findings. Using a structured evaluation tool, data collection involved documentary review, interviews, local surveys, and observation of meetings. Analysis focused on how local organisations influenced DFC leadership, governance, involvement of people living with dementia, activities, and resource use.
Results
There were 382 participants, 25 observed meetings, and 304 reviewed documents. In all sites, local organisations (.g., Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and Universities) were named partners. There was evidence of changes to local infrastructure and services to benefit people living with dementia in sites where organisations assumed an anchoring role within the DFC. Specifically, by aligning existing services to the work of the DFC and mobilisation of their expertise, networks, and resources.
Discussion and Implications
Dementia-friendly communities rely on community engagement. and experience the known challenges of bottom-up social movements. The evaluation identified local organisations could act as anchor organisations within DFCs. They had the potential to provide stability and continuity for community led change to reduce inequalities experienced by people with dementia in their population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Publication statusSubmitted - 14 Oct 2022

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