The Health Care system has a vital role in improving services and support people with dementia, but it cannot prevent fear and lack of understanding of dementia. Lack of awareness and poor understanding in communities has a major impact on the experience of people with dementia and their caregivers. “Dementia Friendly Communities” is a program of EU as part of the Act on Dementia Joint Action, in order to advance common recommendations for the development of better services for people with dementia, which will improve their quality of life. Ιt has been proposed that within a “Dementia friendly Community, people with dementia will not be marginalized and will be respected by their fellow citizens. The citizens, the public organizations and private sector enterprises cooperate in order to eliminate the obstacles which exclude dementia patients and their caregivers from participating in the life of their community”. The Dementia Friendly Communities involve four fields: the environment (places), the citizens (people), the networks and the resources. Based on this model, pilot actions have been developed in Greece (Municipalities of Athens, Byron and Vrilissia), Bulgaria and UK and it is expected to provide important guidelines for the development of Dementia Friendly Communities in EU. In Greece the goal of the Join Action on Dementia was to promote the development of strong alliances within the local communities (municipalities) and the networking of organizations (State, Municipalities, NGOs, enterprises etc) with dementia patients and their caregivers and to educate more people in the municipalities in order to fight stigma and understand dementia.

Key words: Dementia Friendly Communities, dementia, caregivers, stigma, European Join Action.

Α. Politis, Α. Μougias, Ι. Petroulia, Ι. Smyrni, Ι. Τountas, D. Ploumpidis, Μ. Μantzorou, Ε. Κoukia, D. Kiosses, Ch. Papageorgiou, DFC Working group (page 82)

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