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Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of symptoms that are caused by disorders of the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, impaired judgement and reasoning, and changes in mood and personality. The symptoms are enough to impact someone’s day to day living. Some of the causes of dementia are reversible such as the side effects of medication and nutritional deficiencies. Some causes like Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia are irreversible. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

  • Memory loss that affects day-to-day function

  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks

  • Problems with language

  • Disorientation in time and place

  • Poor or decreased judgement

  • Problems with abstract thinking

  • Misplacing things

  • Changes in mood and behaviour

  • Changes in personality

  • Loss of initiative

Dementia Friendly


A Dementia Friendly Community is a place where people living with dementia are understood, respected and supported; an environment where people living with dementia will be confident that they can contribute to community life. In a Dementia Friendly Community, people will be aware of and understand dementia, and people living with dementia will be included and have choice and control over their day-to-day lives and level of engagement.

"At the heart of all we do through the Dementia Friendly Communities program are the experiences of people living with dementia and their care partners,” said Deborah Hierlihy, Program Coordinator for ASHPE. “Together with community allies we are building communities that are welcoming and supportive of individuals and families affected by dementia."

“We hope to reduce the stigma of dementia so that our neighbours and their families who experience these life-altering changes maintain a sense of normalcy day-to-day,” said Local MPP Todd Smith. "By helping the Alzheimer Society of Hastings-Prince Edward-led initiative to develop Dementia Friendly Communities through training and awareness, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is making a sound investment toward creating that desired outcome.”


Through the Dementia Friendly Communities program, the Alzheimer Society of Hastings-Prince Edward equips individuals, community leaders and businesses with skills and confidence to interact with persons living with dementia and their care partners. We do this through training and awareness sessions geared to the needs of participants. Training is available both in person and online.


To learn more about Dementia Friendly Communities or how you can get involved click here!

Participants from many different organizations and businesses have taken our Dementia Friendly Communities training including: City of Quinte West, Municipality of Tweed, Belleville Public Library, Tweed Public Library, Tyendinaga Public Library, Kanhiote Public Library, North Hastings Public Library, Stirling Public Library, Brighton Public Library, Quinte West Public Library, Madoc Public Library, Marmora Public Library, Hastings Highlands Public Library, Career Edge Picton (HEAT Program), Career Edge Trenton, RBC Belleville, CIBC Tweed, Quinte Mall Guest Services, Quinte Mall Security Team, Quinte Mall Cleaners, Picton Golf and Country Club, Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre, St. John's Ambulance, St. John's Ambulance Therapy Dogs Program, City of Belleville Bus Drivers, Salvation Army Belleville Citadel, Salvation Army Belleville Community & Family Services, Moira Place Long Term Care Home, Heart of Hastings Hospice, Tweed News, Royal Lepage Tweed, Dellar’s IDA Drug Store Tweed, Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Tweed, Gateway Community Health Centre, Shorelines Casino Belleville, Best Western Belleville, Towne Place Suites Belleville, Country Inn and Suites Belleville, Fairfield Inn Belleville, Holiday Inn Express Belleville, Stirling-Rawdon Fire Department, Quinte West Fire Department and many more.


In Ontario there are recognition opportunities for supporters of the program. We would be pleased to recognize your organization or business through our social media platforms, community engagement initiatives, in our communications with clients and families connected with the Alzheimer Society, and through the provincial Dementia Friendly Communities website. In addition, there is a symbol and decal that can be used to signal the organization or business as a “Dementia Friendly Community supporter” when 75 percent or more of your team has taken our free training.

DFC Decal Sample.png


Last year the Alzheimer Society of Hastings – Prince Edward launched an initiative to train public, private and voluntary sector employees in how to be dementia aware, as part of our Dementia Friendly Communities program. With an aging population, this training responds to community needs and is aligned with federal and provincial dementia strategies.To date we have had banks, employment centres, retailers, community services, service clubs, golf courses, and recreation and leisure providers book Dementia Awareness Training for their staff (and volunteers).


Among public sector employers, accomplishments include:

  • Partnering with the City of Belleville to provide Dementia Awareness training to Bus Drivers and staff at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre. (Over 75% of employees in both groups were trained).

  • Training over 75% of the workforce in the City of Quinte West, from customer service staff to planning, parks and recreation and public works employees. The training also included career and volunteer fire fighters and crossing guards.

  • Training over 75% of the staff in the Municipality of Tweed, in addition to Council members and fire fighters.

  • Providing training to librarians throughout Hastings County and Brighton.This FREE training can be delivered on-line or in person. Each session is tailored to meet the needs of participants using techniques to promote interaction and learning from the experiences of others.


  • Increase awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s and the signs of dementia

  • Share tips and strategies for communicating with individuals living with dementia and caregivers

  • Identify specific ways to support a person with dementia in the context of one’s job or workplace and as a member of the community.

To discuss training for your team contact us here.


The Dementia Friendly Communities movement began in Japan to accommodate an aging population. From there, the initiative spread to the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and North America. It’s truly become a global effort to create communities that acknowledge the human dignity of people living with dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Hastings ─ Prince Edward contributes to global efforts through our Dementia Friendly Communities initiative.

To learn more about the work being done on the global scale, visit:


The Dementia Friendly Communities program in Hastings - Prince Edward is made possible by The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. To learn more click here.


The Alzheimer Society of Hastings – Prince Edward (ASHPE) is a non-profit organization and registered charity that offers navigation, support, education, and advocacy for families of people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Services are provided for Hastings and Prince Edward counties including both the areas of Bancroft and Brighton.

  • Our mission is to alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and to promote research.

  • First Link Program

    • First Link is a program that gives persons living with dementia and their family/care partners a direct connection to a wide variety of services and supports offered through the Alzheimer Society and within the community. The sooner people get help, the better informed and equipped they are to live well with dementia.

    • If you would like support please contact us by filling out this referral form

  • Approximately 40% of our annual budget is funded by the government, which means we rely on the money raised and grants to continue serving our community. Your support ensures that we are able to acquire new resources and equipment, pursue training opportunities, and expand our services and programming.

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