Community partnerships are essential to develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain dementia initiatives. Partnerships with people living with dementia should be a feature of all initiatives. Considerations for the meaningful engagement of people living with dementia are explored in the next section.

The partnerships needed will depend on the local context, available resources and the goals of the initiative. Partners can include community organizations, health and service providers, academic and research institutions, local businesses, advocacy groups, and local leaders. Fostering diverse partnerships increases the likelihood that the initiative will be relevant to the community.

Partners can bring expertise, share resources, raise awareness, and contribute to the sustainability of initiatives. Partners can help ensure that an initiative is tailored to meet the needs of the intended population.

Each partnership is unique and will have a different level of engagement. The National Implementation Research Network outlines different levels of engagement and processes for considering how you will engage.

Key considerations for fostering partnerships:

  • Building relationships is time consuming but crucial for long-term success. In-person interactions can help to strengthen relationships more quickly.
  • Prioritize relationship-building first with underserved communities before asking for commitment to a specific initiative. Provide opportunity for mutual benefit.
  • Collaboratively define and commit to project goals.
  • Leverage team members’ networks to expand partner base.
  • Use social media to engage and connect unfamiliar communities.
  • Express gratitude and appreciation for partner involvement.

Resources for fostering community partnerships

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