Spokane Regional Dementia Friendly Community

Spokane is an official member of the Dementia Friendly America® community!

Aging & Long Term Care has partnered with the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and Providence Health & Services (including Providence ElderPlace Adult Day Health, Providence Holy Family Hospital, and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center) to become a member of the Dementia Friendly America network. Additional community partners and family care partners supporting people living with dementia strengthen this community-based effort.

A dementia friendly community is a town, city, or county that is respectful toward and informed about individuals with the disease, their families, their caregivers, and offers support that fosters quality of life. Joining Dementia Friendly America means a community is engaging in a process to become more dementia friendly.

Because the number of Washingtonians living with dementia will continue to increase, our community needs to collaborate to make our city a better place for people living with dementia.

Join the effort!

Are you or your organization interested in working with our team?  Learn more about volunteering with us.

Our Mission: To create an equitable and inclusive community that is safe and supportive for people living with dementia and their care partners.

Our Objectives: We will identify and improve services, social/physical environments, and policies.

Become a Dementia Friend

A Dementia Friend learns about dementia and then turns that understanding into action. We all have a part to play in creating dementia friendly communities!
Become a Dementia Friend

Read our Biannual Newsletter

To learn more about our efforts, local resources, and community updates, read our newsletter here.


Starting in 2017, Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW) began meeting in a group called Spokane Dementia Action Team (SPODAT) along with partners like the Alzheimer’s Association, Inland Imaging and Providence Health and Services. The goal of the group was to provide dementia information to medical providers through semiannual education sessions and connection to resources like Project ECHO dementia.

In 2018, SPODAT heard about Dementia Friendly America (DFA) through the Dementia Action Collaborative (DAC), which led to the idea of building Spokane’s dementia competence by making Spokane a Dementia Friendly. After work including a Dementia Summit in October 2018, meeting with two established Dementia Friendly Communities, and working to gather stakeholders in several sectors across the county, Spokane officially became a dementia-friendly community in the spring of 2020.

In the autumn of 2020, the Spokane Regional DFC conducted a Dementia Community Needs Assessment survey. The goal of this survey was to analyze Spokane County’s needs when it comes to improving the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners, determine the issues stakeholders are motivated to act on, and set community goals. To learn more about our findings from this survey, please watch this video or read the executive summary.

Following the survey, in April 2021, the Spokane Regional DFC brought these results in detail to community stakeholders via an online community forum. Here individuals discussed the top three priority areas that arose through the survey. The information gathered from this event was compiled into a report, please click here to read.

Since 2021, the DFC has been working on the priority areas identified through the community survey and forum process. These included increasing the community’s knowledge about the warning signs of dementia, increasing awareness of resources, and increasing the community’s skills for interacting with people living with dementia. To tackle these goals, the DFC created several volunteer committees that have taken the following actions to make our region more dementia friendly.

Spokane Regional DFC accomplishments since April 2021 include:

  • Provided regular Dementia Friends trainings since 2021. So far, through 12 trainings 194 people have become Dementia Friends in our region. Discover how to become a Dementia Friend today!
  • Worked with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide a variety of trainings to educate the public on the warning signs of dementia, how to interact with people living with dementia, and more. Interested in these trainings? Click here.
  • Established the Spokane Regional DFC newsletter in January 2022, which is now being distributed to over 350 individuals. Read or subscribe here.
  • Added a “Brain Health Corner” to Aging & Long Term Care’s community newsletter to highlight the Spokane Regional DFC’s activities. View this here.
  • Expanded Memory Café attendance. As of 2023, three locations are offering weekly memory cafés and are seeing 14-16 regular attendees. Find local memory cafés through the Spokane County Library District or Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Organized the first-ever aging track at the 2023 Northwest Rural Health Conference that included 2 dementia-specific sessions.
  • Started Enhance Fitness in January of 2023 through the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, learn more here. Classes get filled quickly!
  • Obtained approval from the Spokane City Council and City of Spokane Parks & Recreation for a Memory Garden, location to be determined.
  • Completed a local resource list and local roadmap. This is available to the public; you can find it here.
  • Helped create a new version of the Dementia Road Map in Spanish, and Russian.
  • Developed a Spokane Regional Dementia Friendly Community rack card for distribution. This is available virtually or for print.
  • Developed a dementia rack card for faith communities. This is available virtually or for print. A flyer is available for print with a QR code to the virtual rack card for anyone interested in providing information about this resource at an event.

While these are amazing accomplishments, there is still work to do. If interested in learning how to become a part of the effort, visit our volunteer page. To reach us, please email dementia@altcew.org or fill out the form on our Contact Us page. We will connect you to the right people!