Helping Create Dementia-friendly Communities

New education and training opportunities will help communities better recognize the needs of those affected by dementia.

Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson announced government funding for a new dementia-friendly communities pilot project in Calgary.

The Brenda Strafford Foundation of Calgary is conducting dementia-friendly community pilot projects in Calgary and Okotoks. They will train local businesses, including ATB Financial staff, on how to recognize signs of confusion or disorientation in their customers.

An information toolkit will be available to help spread awareness about dementia-friendly communities.

“It is estimated that by 2038, about one in 10 Albertans over age 65 and nearly half over 90 will be living with dementia. Our government is proud to support innovative work to educate the public about dementia and to help reduce the stigma associated with this disease.”

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

The Alberta government is providing $100,000 of the $350,000 budget to support the pilot projects. The Strafford Foundation is contributing $150,000 and Alberta Health Services and Alberta Innovates are each contributing $50,000.

The project will be completed by October 2019.

“We are extending our focus beyond our walls to work with the community and other partners to ensure people with dementia can remain in their homes, safely and properly supported in the community, for as long as possible. The toolkit will ensure localized, evidence-based knowledge is shared as a blueprint for Alberta.”

Mike Conroy, president and CEO, Brenda Strafford Foundation

“Listening to our customers and nurturing a sense of belonging builds a stronger Alberta. This project helps ensure those impacted by this devastating condition feel comfortable and safe through increased awareness, inclusiveness and empathy.”

Peggy Garritty, ATB chief reputation and brand officer