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Dementia Friendly Neighbourhoods

Creating a network of dementia nonprofits to inspire them to create dementia friendly neighborhoods in their vicinity.

Photo of Akanksha B
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

This idea is catered towards caregivers feeling isolated. According to a study (Farrell M.T 2014) people with dementia were excluded from neighborhoods due to their reduced ability to follow social engagement rules. This increased caregiver burden as their loved ones with dementia experienced social withdrawal symptoms. According to a study (Duffin C 2014), the Neighborhood Friendly Movement has helped relieve the stress of caregivers by helping local neighborhoods redesign their open spaces.

Many caregivers experience isolation from their community as they do not have people around them who understand what it means to care for a loved one with dementia. Thus a dementia friendly neighborhood aims to alleviate the caregiver burden by making the neighborhood work for people with dementia so they are not afraid to step out of the house and engage with their community. There is currently research being done in the UK with research projects being funded by the government who has spent 20 million pounds. There are numerous dementia nonprofits across the globe for example the Alzheimer's Association and the Dementia Alliance International. In the United States of America alone there are 80 chapters of the Alzheimer's Association. Thus my idea is to build a network of these dementia nonprofits globally and encourage them to start work/ fundraise for a dementia friendly neighborhood in their local vicinities. The chapters could be incentivised with grant money or even start a grant that would donate money to a local chapter that had the best idea in place on how to implement the guidelines to create a dementia friendly neighborhood. A network would also allow for ideas to be exchanged and for these nonprofits to constantly receive newsletters about developments in the area of dementia friendly neighborhoods. If local nonprofits feel supported they can implement these changes in their neighborhoods which would in turn help alleviate the burden of caregivers in the community.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I would talk to my local dementia nonprofit about the idea of a dementia friendly neighborhood and if they have looked into it. Find out any issues they have with implementing or fundraising for this idea and gauge their general opinion of this research concept.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Since my idea is to build a network of dementia nonprofits globally it would help if the community worked together to find nonprofits that work in the field of dementia globally.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a college student studying statistics in the University of New South Wales in Sydney. I am passionate about public health causes and was thus drawn to ideating for this challenge. I have learnt a lot through my research and was excited to develop my idea!

Attachments (1)

Dementia Friendly Neighborhood.pdf

This is a research paper that I found that had some of the principles of a dementia friendly neighborhood listed out. Since this is a concept that is being researched there will be new developments but the general guidelines of what communities should follow would be helpful.

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Photo of Ngozi
Team

Hi Akanksha B,

''Thus my idea is to build a network of these dementia nonprofits globally and encourage them to start work/ fundraise for a dementia friendly neighborhood in their local vicinities.''

I read through your idea and i quite agree with you that caregivers most time feel isolated and i also capture the idea of forming a network ''globally''. But am kind of worried since its a new idea you are introducing in your community, don't you think it will be wise to build a these networks first at community and local level and then in subsequent time you start linking them up with the global world?
Do you think you can great this network globally at the early stage? Maybe you you can enlighten us more.
I also will like to join your team. Thank you

Photo of Akanksha B
Team

Hi Ngozi!

Thank you so much for your feedback and interest!

I do agree with you that we would need to start at a local level and then build the network globally. I had just mentioned the global network to indicate the eventual goal of my idea.

I look forward to working with you!

Photo of Ngozi
Team

Thank you Akanksha B for your clarification