Dementia-Friendly Communities

What Is a Dementia-Friendly Community (DFC)?
According to Dementia Friendly America (DFA), a dementia-friendly community is a village, town, city, or county fosters an informed, respectful quality of life for individuals with dementia and for their families. These communities are committed and engaged to become dementia-friendly.

Dementia-free communities are places where people with dementia can live as independently as possible with value and with respect:

  • Where they engage in activities that we all take for granted
  • Where they are supported as these daily activities become difficult
  • Where the changes in the person are noticed, understood, and accepted
  • Where shops, restaurants, and streets are evaluated through a dementia lens

2019 Communities as Caregivers Event:

In February 2019, state leaders met to discuss policies and strategies for making Wisconsin a dementia-friendly state. Speakers included:

  • Carrie Molke: Director, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Lisa Bratzke: Assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Nursing School
  • Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi: Assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Nursing School
  • Joy Schmidt: Dementia care specialist, Dane County Aging and Disability Resource Center
  • Gina Green-Harris: Director, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute
  • Debbie Miller: Tribal dementia care specialist, Oneida Nation Comprehensive Health Division

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services


  • To educate the community by increasing awareness and understanding of dementia-type diseases
  • To decrease the stigma of the disease
  • To foster community involvement
  • To improve the lives of dementia-affected individuals
  • To improve the lives of caregivers

Ideal community involvement:

  • Businesses
  • Law enforcement and first responders
  • Health care and home care organizations
  • Faith communities
  • Government
  • Community leaders
  • Local merchants
  • Employers
  • Hospitals, clinics, and care facilities
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