Italy - Dementia Friendly Communities

Alzal House
Dementia Friendly Abbiategrasso
Us With You - Ambassadors for Alzheimer's

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Alzal House

Dementia friendly efforts in Italy have, to date, largely been driven by those providing day care or care home services. Alzal House, in Lamezia Terme, is a day centre facility for people with dementia and their families. Developed in 2002 by Associazione per la Ricerca Neurogenetica o.n.l.u.s., the centre encourages participation of people in all age groups, including families, young civil service volunteers and students. The centre aims to improve integration in the community whilst also narrowing the generation gap.

Dementia Friendly Abbiategrasso

Federazione Alzheimer Italia has chosen Abbiategrasso, a town near Milan with 31,000 inhabitants, as a pilot for the first dementia friendly community project in Italy. The federation have identified a multi-disciplinary team of technicians, researchers and officials to lead the project, with the Golgi Cenci Research Foundation, the Golgi Public Company for Service to the People of Abbiategrasso, the Federation of Palliative Care and the local municipality. The project is currently drafting questionnaires for local stakeholders, including holding focus groups with people with dementia and carers. This will be followed by an analysis of ways to implement informationtraining events for merchants and law enforcement agents, on the cultural and social aspects related to the stigma of dementia and how to support dementia friendly awareness. The federation is also holding a number of activities through the voluntary associations in the area and the public library in order to increase participation of people with dementia and their families in the creation of the dementia friendly community. The project slogan, The strength of not being alone, was chosen to reflect the sharing of a common effort to ensure that no one is left alone to deal with dementia.

Us With You - Ambassadors for Alzheimer's

Celebrating the possible in the lives of people with dementia through increasing knowledge within the community is the aim of the Us With You – Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s project. Run by King Carlo Alberto refuge in Luserna San Giovanni, a municipality within the province of Turin, the project offers members of the community the opportunity to become Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s. There are five key activities within the initiative: the care home service, home-based training and support for carers, a drop-in at a local coffee shop, community education and training for people with and without dementia, and information and awareness events. Through connections created following their award from the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID), King Carlo Alberto refuge is now working closely with the City of Kortrijk in Belgium to strengthen the existing dementia friendly community work in both locations.