Over 100,000 people in Washington state live with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and that number continues to grow. For many people with memory loss, social stigma and barriers to inclusion can lead to shame, fear, and isolation. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. We recognize that people with memory loss are a vital part of our communities, retain remarkable strengths and stories, and deserve the right to fully participate. Here in Washington state, we’re joining the worldwide movement to build dementia-friendly communities.
Put simply, a dementia-friendly community is one in which people with memory loss fully belong. People with memory loss remain actively involved in community life, knowing that whether riding the bus, going to the store, or volunteering at the elementary school, they and their loved ones will be met with respect, understanding, kindness and support. Community members are informed about dementia, equipped to be helpful as needed, and committed to inclusion. As a result, everyone enjoys a vibrant, connected community in which nobody is left out, everyone can fully participate and contribute, and everyone can fully belong.
The Washington State Alzheimer’s State Plan is currently conducting a survey to get your input and perspectives on creating dementia-friendly environments in our state. Please take the 5 question survey here.
You can learn more about the Washington Alzheimer’s State Plan here.