Addressing dementia should go beyond the strictly medical approach
EU Conference on Dementia, 25-26 November 2010
“With the rapid demographic ageing, the prevalence of dementia is expected to increase sharply in the near future. A better coordination of social and health policies on old age dementia is therefore needed to tackle mental health diseases and to ensure a decent life to all patients with dementia and their families. We need a holistic approach to create a dementia friendly society”, highlighted Anne-Sophie Parent on the eve of the EU Presidency Conference on Dementia.
In the last few years, the European Union has acknowledged the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and has called for coordinated action through initiatives, such as the Joint Programming Initiative on Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases launched last April to boost research in that area.
AGE welcomes the EU high-level conference on dementia which will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of this issue of growing importance and will favour exchanges between Member States and stakeholders involved in care of people suffering from dementia.
AGE Platform Europe has just issued a position paper stressing the need to tackle all dimensions of mental health diseases, from prevention to measures in support of informal carers, and suggesting seven recommendations to EU and national policy makers:
1. Create an “Alzheimer friendly” environment;
2. Improve quality of life of patients without relying only on medication;
3. Support informal carers;
4. Ensure adequate financing to tackle inequalities and ensure quality;
5. Change the way society looks at dementia;
6. Promote healthy ageing and well-being of older people;
7. Use the Open Method of Coordination to develop and exchange good practices.
This position paper entitled “Position on Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias: Widen the debate beyond care and treatment issues” can be accessed on the AGE website at: http://www.age-platform.eu/images/stories/AGE_PositionPaper_Dementia_Nov10.doc.