Currently, about 70 percent of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias live in community settings, with an estimated one-quarter of them living alone. A common preference for persons with dementia is to remain as engaged and independent for as long as possible, but in order to do so safely, communities must be attuned to the uniques needs of people living with dementia.

Primed for implementation: HBI Road Map

Action M-3 — Use data gleaned through available surveillance strategies and other sources to inform the public health program and policy response to cognitive health, impairment and caregiving.

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The establishment of dementia-friendly communities is a growing movement in the U.S. and around the world. The movement mobilizes government, businesses and civic groups to form a coalition and pledge to actively make changes to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. State and local public health organizations are uniquely positioned to become coalition partners and to help evaluate progress toward goals.

These supportive changes can range from access to public transportation, interaction with service providers and friends that use effective communications techniques, as well as opportunities to be involved in community life. Public health can also lead dementia-friendly coalitions to analyze the community needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers, change neighborhood environments, and mobilize partners to adopt promising practices for supporting people affected by dementia.

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State-specific action you can take

Communities are taking public health action against Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Find out how the disease impacts your state and what you can do to make Alzheimer's the next public health success story.

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