Dementia friendly communities

Dementia Friendly Communities: Schools and Intergenerational Agenda

Key to developing dementia friendly communities is an increased awareness about the impact of dementia both on those living with the condition and those who care for them.

In 2010 ADS, in collaboration with NHS West Midlands, were involved in the development of a set of teaching resources designed to raise awareness and inform children and young people about dementia. They were developed because a survey found that awareness of dementia and services to support people with dementia among the general population was very low, and young people in particular had very limited understanding. These teaching resources aimed to address this gap in knowledge and include a short film about two young people who reflect upon their experience of their relationship with their grandfather and how it is affected by dementia. It is hoped that these resources will be used not only in the West Midlands but more broadly across the UK, by teachers, and others who work with children and young people to raise awareness.

To build on these resources, the Dementia Friendly Communities: Schools and Intergenerational Agenda undertook a pilot project to tackle stigma and raise awareness and understanding of dementia in primary and secondary schools. The project covered areas such as: 

  • Understanding dementia
  • Appreciating the difficulties of being a carer
  • Understanding assistive technologies and their applications
  • Meeting people with dementia and their carers

22 'Pioneer Schools' devised their own curriculum approaches to address these areas at Key Stages 2, 3 & 4.

ADS was commissioned to evaluate the impact of this pilot project. Working with the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority and Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, ADS developed an Evaluation Pack to capture changes in pupils’ attitudes, beliefs and values in relation to dementia.

The interim report looking at the baseline findings, and the final evaluation report can be accessed here:

Based on the work done by the Pioneer Schools a set of resources has been developed and is accessible via the Alzheimer's Society website.