MassDOT Includes Dementia Friendly Design Guide in ‘Shared Streets & Spaces’ Grant Resources

The Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program from the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT), which has a current funding round with application due on March 1, has provided an opportunity for cities and towns to improve public health, safe mobility, and strengthened commerce. The Mass. Healthy Aging Collaborative is proud to share that MassDOT has included a guide on dementia friendly design considerations in its resource library for the program.

The grant program already prioritizes projects that consider older adults. In 2021, this focus on healthy aging brought more than $1.1 million in support to communities for infrastructure improvements surrounding councils on aging and senior housing as well as enhanced access to public spaces.

The dementia friendly design considerations are the work of a subgroup of the state’s Alzheimer’s Advisory Council aiming to broadly define dementia friendly infrastructure. The subgroup is led by the Mass Councils on Aging, Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Mass. Healthy Aging Collaborative and supported by a volunteer intern.

The one-pager created for the Shared Streets and Spaces program is one piece of a larger guide yet to be completed by the subgroup that includes design considerations for housing and outdoor spaces, among other environments.