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2022 Advancing Research on Care and Outcome Measurements (ARCOM)

Assessing a New Measure of Community Level Dementia-Friendliness

Can a novel assessment tool help determine how well a community accommodates its families living with dementia?

Miranda Moore, Ph.D.
Emory University
Atlanta, GA - United States


According to the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report, studies show that older Black/African American individuals are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older white individuals. Communities and community organizations are seeking guidance to make their social environment more accommodating to people and families living with dementia. Welcoming environments are especially important in Black churches, which often play an important role in setting social norms within the larger community. However, efforts to establish dementia-friendly environments have been hindered by a lack of tools for accurately measuring levels of how these environments are perceived by the families and the individuals living with dementia as well as the larger community.

Research Plan

Dr. Miranda Moore and colleagues will develop and test a novel assessment method called the Dementia-Friendly Community Assessment Tool (DCAT). Their work will focus on a group of Black churches enrolled in the Alter program, which seeks to improve dementia friendliness in church environments. To develop DCAT, the researchers will conduct in-depth interviews and surveys with members of the church communities. These interviews will help them identify what characteristics are necessary for a dementia-friendly environment. Next, they will test how well DCAT assesses dementia friendliness in the participating churches.


Results from Dr. Moore’s study could help us better understand the many factors that help build a welcoming social environment for people with dementia. Moreover, if the DCAT tool is successful, it could help identify targeted programs for improving dementia friendliness in communities most in need of them.

The ARCOM Grant Program was developed jointly with Leveraging an Interdisciplinary Consortium to Improve Care and Outcomes for Persons Living With Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LINC-AD).

For more information on LINC-AD please visit: https://alz.org/linc-ad

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