National Dementia Strategies (diagnosis, treatment and research)
It gives me great pleasure to present this report on the development of national dementia strategies in Europe. The report contains information on the situation in 32 countries regarding the development of national dementia strategies focusing on three main topics, namely diagnosis, treatment and research. Of course, not all countries have such strategies as they are at different stages of development in relation to responding to the challenge that dementia poses.
National dementia plans all aim to address dementia but do so in different ways. We have decided to focus on the three above-mentioned topics in this report and in our next report to address more care-related issues such as the provision of care, the training of healthcare professionals and social care staff, support at home, in the community and in nursing homes, as well as issues linked to perceptions of dementia and dementia-friendly societies.
However, all countries have citizens with dementia who require timely diagnosis, treatment and support. This is essential to their quality of life and may help prevent premature entry into long-term residential care. It also represents a moral duty of each society towards people with dementia based on solidarity, beneficence, dignity and equity. Even countries which lack a national dementia strategy may have a system in place to diagnose dementia and organise treatment. Many are also involved in research at European level and/or fund research in their own country. Those countries which do have a strategy often have a timeframe within which to accomplish the goals they have set. Consequently, for each country, provisions relating to a national dementia strategy are described, followed by details of progress with their implementation. Wherever possible, details of how diagnosis, treatment and research are currently addressed at national level are provided.
It is hoped that this information will enable readers to compare how different countries have addressed these common issues and perhaps learn from the different solutions which have been attempted. As some countries are further along the process than others and have monitored their own progress, it is possible to benefit from their experience of success and of the obstacles they may have encountered along the way. Most, however, are in the early stages and many do not yet have a national dementia strategy.
Most of the reports were written by or with the assistance of Alzheimer Europe’s member associations to whom we are immensely grateful. Some external experts also helped compile the reports. The names of all those who made it possible to produce this report are acknowledged at the end of each country report.
It is encouraging to see how far some countries have come in developing national strategies and how others are well on the way to doing so. Alzheimer Europe is closely monitoring this development and would be pleased to receive your comments and further information about developments within Europe.
Last Updated: Tuesday 14 May 2013