Dementia Friendly Communities


People living with dementia want to continue to do the things they enjoy and participate fully in community life. However, following diagnosis, many feel socially excluded. Support from local retailers to provide a dementia-friendly environment can mean people living with dementia and their carers can live well in their community.

Dementia currently affects more than 459,000 Australians and is the second leading cause of death in Australia with no cure. Victoria had approximately 96,789 people living with dementia in 2016, with 4 of the 7 eastern metropolitan region local government areas ranked within the top 10 in regards to the prevalence of dementia in 2016: Monash (3), Whitehorse (4), Boroondara (5), and Manningham (10) (NATSEM 2016).

Forest Hill Dementia Friendly Community

With a “nothing about us, without us” philosophy, this collaboration of organisations, carers and people living with dementia co-designed resources to make Forest Hill a place where people living with dementia, and their family and friends, feel supported to participate in their community

The resources can be used to support local cafes and other retailers in Forest Hill to become dementia friendly “anytime”. Cafe and retail staff and management can learn essential skills to feel more confident interacting with people living with dementia, and make small changes to the business’ physical environment to help people living with dementia feel comfortable and welcome.

Apart from the Inner East PCP, other organisations involved were the Whitehorse City Council, Carrington Health, Uniting and Villa Maria Catholic Homes.


Watch and hear more about our co-design experience and how we co-designed resources for retail businesses



Read our Co-design Evaluation Report

Resources to help cafes and retailers become more dementia friendly

The following resources were co-designed with carers and people living with dementia and can help other communities become more dementia friendly. We would appreciate it if you could please acknowledge the IEPCP and the Forest Hill Dementia Friendly Community group as the source of any resources used.


General information brochure

Quick overview of local dementia friendly community work DL 2-sided




General information for business brochure 

Brochure to give to businesses to encourage them to become involved. Outlines what a dementia friendly business is and the benefits for business to become dementia friendly A5 folded


Dementia-friendly awareness session for business (content and guide)

Content and guide to present a 45 minute dementia awareness session for cafe and retail staff and managers. Covers dementia, dementia friendly communities, what people with dementia may have problems with, role play, how businesses and retail staff can help.


Tips for retail staff

Handout to be used with dementia friendly awareness session. Includes what is dementia, what is a dementia friendly community, benefits to business, communication skills and practical ways retail staff can help A4 2-sided


Tips for physical environment changes

Outlines easy physical environment changes that can be made by retail businesses to be more dementia friendly A4



Welcome sign

Welcome sign for use on tables, counters, doors and windows A6



Become involved

Join the national campaign to become a dementia friend by completing free online learning and increase your understanding about dementia.

IEPCP acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.


Title Date Type Author Files
IEPCP Forest Hill Dementia Friendly Community Co-design Evaluation 2020

Presents the findings of an evaluation of the co-design process for the Forest Hill Dementia Friendly Community (DFC) work in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne 2019

01/06/2021 Document
What is important in a dementia friendly community?

In 2017-18 we talked to people living with dementia, their carers, and the community about being dementia friendly in Forest Hill. This is what they told us.

19/08/2020 Document Inner East Primary Care Partnership
IEPCP 2019 Case Study Forest Hill Dementia Friendly Community
19/11/2019 Document Inner East Primary Care Partnership
Dementia Friendly Community Resource Hub

Dementia Australia’s Dementia Friendly Communities resource hub with online training, resources and information.

02/01/2019 Link Dementia Australia
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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