First Advisor

Paula Carder

Term of Graduation

Winter 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning





Physical Description

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

In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier