5 pioneering dementia initiatives

As awareness of dementia becomes more widespread, it’s inspiring to see how individuals, communities and even national organizations are finding new ways to deal with the illness.  Of course we are biased to our own app but we’ve selected five examples of pioneering dementia initiatives which we think show-case a range of different responses to dementia. Think we’ve missed a crucial example out? Let us know in the comments.

Dementia initiatives can be launched by individuals, communities and national or even international organizations. Here are five examples we find inspiring:

  1. Individualized home service

For more than 30 years, Melabev has been a leader in care for seniors in Israel. While the organization runs homes and clubs in major cities like Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, it really stands out for its innovative home care service At Home with Melabev. Clients across the country receive home visits by a team of qualified therapists who are trained and certified in arts, physical fitness, cognitive stimulation and more.

  1. Dementia-trained hair stylists

The hair salon is a natural place to reminisce – and maintaining an individual’s appearance is an important way of boosting their self-confidence. However, many hair stylists struggle to understand the needs of seniors suffering with dementia. And that’s why one hair-dressing school in the UK is now specifically training professional hair stylists to provide a personal service to people suffering from the condition. Read more here.

  1. A dementia-friendly city

The picturesque Belgian city of Bruges launched a city-wide project in 2010 called Together for a dementia-friendly Bruges! – a global first. The initiative received support from the local government and launched a range of activities, including training for storekeepers and their personnel on how to recognize customers who may have dementia and provide an appropriate service. Other cities across the globe have followed Bruges’ example.

  1. Dementia education for children

Many children struggle to comprehend dementia, especially as they see a loving grandparent seemingly change. And so in Australia, the Kids 4 Dementia project has been designed to educate children at public schools about what dementia is, what it feels like to have dementia and provides them with the tools to understand the illness.

  1. Memory cafes

Memory cafes are an innovative way of supporting people who are experiencing early stage dementia. In Appleton, WI, Memory Cafes take place in church halls and other public spaces and provide a space for lively discussions, creative activities and an opportunity to socialize – all while avoiding isolation.