Building Dementia-Friendly Communities

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Wisconsin’s Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Project is focused on educating the public, businesses, and government entities on effective strategies for working with individuals with dementia and their caregivers. It is a partnership effort between the Department of Health Services, the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, and AARP Wisconsin to support the implementation of the Wisconsin Dementia Care System Redesign Plan.

Lessons learned were gathered from local dementia-friendly community projects throughout the state and incorporated into the toolkit as promising practices. An essential component of the project is the active engagement of local public health agencies as primary partners in addressing dementia as a chronic disease within communities.

A Toolkit: Building Dementia-Friendly Communities

Wisconsin’s toolkit, Building Dementia-Friendly Communities, P-01000, (PDF) provides information, resources, lessons learned, and the steps for building a dementia-friendly community. The toolkit is a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, AARP Wisconsin, and local communities throughout the state that have implemented dementia-friendly projects.

The toolkit is a user-friendly resource guide for implementing and sustaining dementia-friendly community efforts that features several Wisconsin communities’ dementia-friendly programs. Specific sections include information for use by professionals, businesses, public health, families, and individuals with dementia, including resources and services available from Wisconsin organizations and programs. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are identified as chronic diseases to be addressed by local and state public health agencies as an increasing public health issue. For a printed copy of the toolkit, submit your request on this order form.

Toolkit Sections, P-01000

Healthy Brain Initiative Toolkit

Specific Strategies for Community Members, P-01000

  • Business Sector – Local chambers of commerce, general business settings, banks and credit unions, grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Community Organizations Sector – Community, civic and other organizations, faith communities, and sports and recreational programs.
  • Health Care Sector – Hospitals; primary care clinics, pharmacists, physical therapy, occupational therapy and home health, dentists, residential care providers and dementia agencies and programs.
  • Public Services Sector – Office on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Centers, adult protective services, county crisis response, senior nutrition programs, law enforcement, first responders, community environments, city planner/architect, public signage, streets and sidewalks, mayors, parks, public transportation, libraries, senior centers, museums, community gardens, schools and higher education.

Other recommended resources:

Healthy Brain Initiative

Music and Memory – The Wisconsin Music & Memory Program has been designed to bring personalized music to individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias.

Healthy Brain Initiative – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page on “The Healthy Brain Initiative: A National Public Health Road Map to Maintaining Cognitive Health,” which includes the summary document.


Dementia-Friendly Guidelines for:

Reports on:

Last Revised: April 9, 2019

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