It Takes a Village embraces community as a powerful way to help individuals facing Alzheimer’s and dementia—both care partners and persons on the dementia journey. Through the It Takes a Village program, fear of dementia and related stigma are reduced.
ITAV programs are grounded in non-pharmacological approaches to dementia which include exercise, learning opportunities, music, improvisational drama, reading clubs, and environmental design. Scientific studies of several such programs have shown improved quality of life, reduced depression, improved engagement, and even in some situations slowing down of cognitive symptoms.
Every community offers a rich variety of ‘engagement’ opportunities. Cultural institutions such as symphony orchestras, museums and art galleries, libraries and theaters often have excess capacity. With carefully designed dementia-friendly programs, such places can easily serve the community’s dementia and dementia-caregiving citizens—at minimum cost.
Health economics shows that community-based programs pay for themselves in reduced nursing home placement, less caregiver burnout, better caregiver health and less depression, among other public health outcomes.