Dementia-Friendly Communities: Development of a Research Agenda

Research co-leads: 

  • Alison Phinney
    University of British Columbia – Vancouver 

Research user co-lead:

  • Dr. Lillian Hung
    Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia – Vancouver Campus, Vancouver Coastal Health 

Team members: 

  • Dr. Habib Chaudhury
    Simon Fraser University
  • Jim Mann
    Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • Mario Gregorio
    Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • Joyce Wong
    Vancouver Coastal Health 
  • Shannon Hopkins
    Vancouver Coastal Health 
  • Heather Cowie
    Alzheimer Society of B.C

People living with dementia and their family/friend caregivers face challenges including; stigma, poor physical health, social isolation, poor mental health, difficulty accessing formal and informal support and financial pressures. In B.C. in 2018, about 70,000 people live with dementia. By 2033, that number is estimated to increase to almost 120,000.  In the face of an aging population there is increasing commitment across Canada to make our communities more 'age-friendly', but people with dementia may not be included in this. Social stigma and a lack of meaningful engagement strategies hinder people with dementia from participation in service development to create inclusive dementia-friendly communities.  

The project aims to bring together researchers and research users to identify research priorities. We will collectively explore the meanings of dementia-friendly communities and develop a research agenda that includes shared vision and actionable research questions.  

The team, including people with dementia and caregivers, will jointly plan a one-day research day workshop. The workshop participants include representatives of 6 stakeholder groups: researchers, people with dementia, family/friend caregivers, healthcare professionals, decision-makers of the local health authority, and dementia advocacy groups. Outcomes of this project will include a research agenda rooted in local community needs and a research advisory group to support subsequent research.