Building dementia friendly communities in Illinois is of significant importance to the families and persons living with or at risk for dementia.
Based on the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report, it is estimated that 220,000 people in Illinois have dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and by 2025 the number will increase by 18% to 260,000 people. If all the people with dementia lived in a single Illinois city, it would be the second largest after Chicago.
Four Phases for Planning and Implementation
Dementia Friendly America provides a community toolkit that outlines 4 phases for dementia friendly community planning and implementation:
- Convene key community leaders and members to understand dementia and its implications for your community. Then, form an Action Team.
- Engage key leaders to assess current strengths and gaps in your community using a comprehensive engagement tool.
- Analyze your community needs and determine the issues stakeholders are motivated to act on; then set community goals.
- Act together to establish implementation plans for your goals and identify ways to measure progress.
Developing a Dementia Friendly Community
The key to developing a dementia-friendly community is to engage multiple community sectors in the planning and implementation.
There is no set time limit for Dementia Friendly America to then provide general technical support to communities in Illinois desiring to engage in the process of becoming a part of the Dementia Friendly America movement. Dementia Friendly America provides a suggested timeline for communities to consider when going through the process of becoming more “dementia friendly.”
As local Illinois communities work through their planning and implementation processes, ICRN will highlight the lessons they have learned. If you are a community leader in need of more focused technical assistance, please contact ICRN at firstname.lastname@example.org.