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Dementia-inclusive Streets and Community Access, Participation and Engagement (DemSCAPE) project unites a team of multidisciplinary researchers from Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and University of Northern British Columbia. DemSCAPE is a two-year, multisite project funded by the Dementia Strategic Fund: Awareness Raising Initiatives program created by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with additional support from the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia.
Based in two locations in British Columbia, the DemSCAPE project engaged with thirty-four community-dwelling persons living with dementia or mild cognitive impairment, some with their care partners. Eleven individuals have participated independently, and fifteen with care partner support in urban and suburban neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver municipalities. Eight dyads in the hub city of Prince George are participants in this study in more Northern communities of British Columbia. Participants are engaged through mixed-methods sequential design in a series of four interviews, including a video-recorded walk-along interview, facilitated by a primary research assistant and supported by up to two team members.
- DemSCAPE aims to generate empirical knowledge and advanced understanding of the role of the neighbourhood built environment in mobility and engagement among persons living with dementia and their care partners in their communities.
- Improve knowledge of regional municipal planners and decision-makers on physical planning and design to enable communities to become dementia-inclusive.
- Decrease stigma surrounding living with and talking about dementia in the community through creation and dissemination of a short documentary film highlighting the outdoor walking experiences of three study participants.
- Use of the environmental audit tool by community-based dementia advocacy organizations and persons living with dementia to conduct evaluation of the neighbourhood environment and identify intervention projects.
- Supporting dementia-inclusive community design and developing a supportive neighbourhood environment, can foster people living with dementia to remain active and engaged in their communities, which is crucial to maintaining and enhancing their quality of life.
Habib Chaudhury, Professor, Department of Gerontology, Simon Fraser University
Lillian Hung, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia and Adjunct Professor, Department of Gerontology, Simon Fraser University
Alison Phinney, Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Shannon Freeman, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Northern British Columbia
Mark Groulx, Associate Professor, School of Planning and Sustainability, University of Northern British Columbia
Dawn Hemingway, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Northern British Columbia