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Cities and towns in Massachusetts are focusing on addressing the needs of their aging populations including people living with cognitive issues. A “dementia friendly community” is informed, safe, and respectful, and enables people living with dementia and those who care about them to live full, engaged lives. But what does it look like? What are the physical environment features that will support these stated goals?
Over the past year the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts (DFM) initiative lead by the program manager Patricia Sullivan has been working with the Design For Aging committee to put such vision into application. The result is an initial guide to cities and towns on how to approach Dementia-Friendly design and help with tools to planners to evaluate success. The team is now focused on dissemination this information with the goal that Dementia Friendly will become a criterion in judging public construction development projects.