In 2015, an estimated 84,405 San Diegans age 55 years and older were living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. To help make our region a place that better supports the growing number of older adults with dementia, the County of San Diego became a recognized dementia friendly community in 2016.

In dementia-friendly communities, more people understand dementia, there is less fear and avoidance of those with dementia, and people living with dementia are included and feel supported to live independently for longer. 

What does a dementia-friendly community look like?  

  • Local governments plan and implement housing, transportation, public spaces and emergency response that enable people with dementia and care partners to thrive.
  • Law enforcement and first responders recognize signs of dementia to respond accordingly.
  • Employers support employees who are caregivers through proactive personnel policies.
  • Community members learn how to interact sensitively and create networks of support.



Individuals with dementia live as independently as possible and are encouraged and welcomed by everyone to participate in community life.



1.  Incorporate dementia-friendly elements, such as training for transit drivers and encouraging memory care housing in mixed use zones, into each of the other Age Well San Diego theme teams’ work (Health & Community Support, Housing, Social Participation and Transportation).

2.  Promote concepts and tools provided by Dementia Friendly America.

3.  Coordinate with The Alzheimer’s Project roundtables to identify opportunities to maximize the impact of each group’s efforts.


Join the Theme TEAM

The Dementia-Friendly Theme Team is led by representatives from Jewish Family Service of San Diego with support from community members and County of San Diego Staff.

For more information or to join the Dementia-Friendly Theme Team, please contact Toni-Ann Simpelo at



  • Dementia Communication Card: Dementia can affect a person’s ability to communicate with others. This can become increasingly challenging and frustrating for the person living with dementia and their caregivers. The Dementia Communication Card is designed to help caregivers facilitate positive and compassionate interactions between the person with dementia and members of the community. For example, during a dental visit a caregiver may wish to hand the card to the dental hygienist. Or, during a trip to a restaurant, the caregiver could hand the card to the server. 

*When folded, each card is the size of a standard business card.

The Dementia Communication Card is available in:


Instructions for print and use:

  1. Download the pdf. Note: The document prints four (4) cards.
  2. Print the document on both sides (flip sheets on the long edge), a standard letter sized sheet (8.5 x 11), and with “Actual size” page sizing for best results.
  3. Cut out each card along the dotted lines.
  4. Fold along the center line.
  5. Keep the card handy in your wallet, purse, or pocket. 


For more information on the Dementia Friends Program, please contact Toni-Ann Simpelo at


Click below to learn more about the Age Well San Diego Theme Teams:




Age Well San Diego is a component of the Aging Roadmap, the County of San Diego's comprehensive approach to aging services.  Learn more about the Aging Roadmap


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