Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies
Urban Studies and Planning
1 online resource (ix, 184 pages)
More and more communities across the globe are pledging to become more "dementia friendly," yet many initiatives lack direction as to what this pledge might entail. The intent of this qualitative study, conducted in the metropolitan area of Portland and several other cities in Oregon, was to better understand how communities can increase their dementia friendliness – from the perspective of people living with dementia and their care partners. The study further aimed to clarify if and how age- and dementia-friendly efforts can be integrated.
Twenty-five community-dwelling individuals living with dementia and their 25 informal carers participated separately in semi-structured in-person interviews. The interview questions were centered on the participants' day-to-day experiences, barriers to and opportunities for engaging in activities, and the interviewees' thoughts on how communities might become more inclusive places for people affected by dementia.
The analysis of the interviews yielded eight common themes constituting a conceptual framework of dementia friendliness that proved largely congruent with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) framework of age friendliness which served as the theoretical foundation for this research. "Technology" was added as an additional domain, and "respite and peace of mind," as well as "preserving self and identity" were identified as important aspects interwoven with the nine domains.
The results of this study can provide guidance for planning and implementing dementia-friendly initiatives and serve as foundation for a synergistic integration of dementia-friendly efforts into the greater context of age friendliness.
© 2022 Iris Alexandra Wernher
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Wernher, Iris Alexandra, "Defining Dementia-Friendly Communities From the Perspective of Those Affected" (2023). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6311.