The Toolkit – Introduction

In a dementia friendly community, every part of the community plays a role and works together to create a dementia friendly culture. The Dementia Friendly Toolkit supports communities in their efforts by:

  • Guiding communities through a research-informed process that fosters adoption of dementia friendly practices in all parts of community.
  • Adapting to fit a community’s needs and complement other project management processes.
  • Consisting of four phases to organize the effort - Convene, Engage, Analyze, and Act.

Some communities follow the step by step toolkit approach. Other DFA communities pick and choose resources that best fit their needs. It is okay to select the approach that best fits with your community’s need and priorities . The time commitment for undertaking the effort will vary based on the approach your community takes and the resources available to support the effort.

Phase 1: Convene key community leaders and members to understand dementia and its implications for your community. In this phase, you will determine community readiness, build an action team and engage the community more broadly. (Approximately 1-3 months)

Phase 2: Engage key leaders to assess current strengths and gaps in your community. In this phase, you will engage the broader community in a dialogue to learn community strengths, gaps, and priorities for action which raises awareness of dementia and; identify ways in which the community can build on its assets and fill gaps to provide additional supports. (Approximately 2-6 months)

Phase 3: Analyze your community needs and determine the issues stakeholders are motivated to act on; then set community goals. In this phase, you will review all the data available from interviews and assessments, determine community strengths and gaps/opportunities related to each of the key elements of a dementia friendly community, and identify priority goals that the community might consider undertaking. (Approximately 1-2 months)

Phase 4: Act to create a community action plan that includes specific objectives, activities to meet the objectives, a designated lead person and a timeline. Include strategies to seek funding as needed to support and sustain the plan.  In this phase, you will begin implementation, communicate progress and assess and adjust the plan as activities are completed and objectives are met. (Approximately 2 months - ongoing)


Dementia Friendly America® adapted ACT on Alzheimer's® provider practice tools, dementia training, four-phase community engagement process, and related resources to create DFA's Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit. Toolkit components may be reproduced, adapted or both when these restrictions are followed:

  • Acknowledgement of use must appear in print and online and include this citation: Reproduced (or Adapted) from Dementia Friendly America's® Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit.
  • Dementia Friendly America's® Toolkit and ACT on Alzheimer's® developed tools and resources cannot be sold in their original form or in a modified/adapted form.