Dementia Friendly Communities

Illustration of houses and city

What is dementia?

The term ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that include loss of concentration and memory problems, mood and behaviour changes and problems with communicating and reasoning. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, a series of small strokes or other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Around 60 per cent of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease - the most common type of dementia – and around 20 per cent have vascular dementia, which results from problems with the blood supply to the brain. Many people have a mixture of the two.

What are dementia friendly communities?

The Alzheimer’s Society has launched a programme to improve inclusion and the quality of life for people living with dementia. This includes establishing dementia friendly communities  in which people with dementia are empowered to have aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. 



The friendly county – three case studies from around Suffolk

From well-established and successful schemes such as the Debenham Project, to emerging local alliances such as Hadleigh, Suffolk is home to a growing number of dementia friendly communities.

Find out more from those most closely involved in the schemes and get inspiration where you live: 

The Debenham Project

Since its launch in 2009, local volunteers have developed a range of local dementia support services in Debenham that have firmly established the project as one of the foremost examples of a rural dementia friendly community.

The aim of the project is to help families in the Debenham area who are having to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives by offering them the practical and emotional support which can make living with dementia a better place than when they were on their own.