Across the country, more than 5 million men and women suffer from dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. As the population ages, the agency predicts more than 7 million people will have the disease by 2025, representing a 40 percent increase. By 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association says that number could top 13.8 million, assuming no treatment has been found to prevent the disease or slow its progression.
National movements to make communities dementia-friendly is a concept that has taken hold in Europe, but has been slower to take root in the U.S. But some states, and individual communities, have begun to take matters into their own hands, creating their own programs and holding collaborative summits to share knowledge and gain a better understanding of the needs of people with dementia.