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P2: Dementia strategies

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

P2: Dementia strategies

P2.1. Has Ireland’s first National Dementia Strategy made dementia a national priority?

LEONARD Tina, MARTIN Gerry

Ireland’s first national dementia strategy was finally published by the Department of Health in December 2014. The promise of its publication, as outlined in the 2011 Programme for Government, came years after The Alzheimer Society of Ireland first called for dementia to be made a national health priority. The intervening years of lobbying political parties, local and national politicians resulted in a government commitment to address dementia at a national, strategic level.

This presentation will outline the principles underpinning the strategy, the six priority areas and the actions for implementation. It will reflect on the achievements within the strategy; how it has the potential to bring systematic and real change for people with dementia and their family carers living in Ireland.

However, like all policy documents developed in a collaborative manner and compounded by a lack of funds for the strategy’s implementation, there are certain aspects of the strategy that have not met expectation. This presentation will reflect on where The Alzheimer Society of Ireland feels additional action is needed to ensure that dementia is made a national priority – not only examining the contents of the strategy, but plans for its implementation and monitoring as well as the leadership that has been shown at a national level.

P2.2. Involving people with dementia in new dementia strategy

ENGEDAL Knut, TOFT Anne Kjersti

Background: Norway was one of the first countries globally that launched a national dementia strategy operating from 2007 to 2015. The strategy focused on day-time activities, better adapted living arrangements and increased knowledge. The strategy has had an impact for local communities and for dementia care. However, Norway still faces challenges, and some of the goals have not been achieved.

Method: The Norwegian Health Association has been working over several years to get the government to commit to the making of a new strategy. The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services were also encouraged to include people with dementia and their carers in developing the strategy, inspired by the work in England and Scotland.

In the fall of 2014 the Ministry initiated a working group and invited the Norwegian Health Association and Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health. The working group planned and arranged seven dialogue meetings all over Norway. Every meeting had an introduction from the Ministry and a presentation by a person with dementia. Then all participants performed in structured group conversations.Results:The dialogue meetings gathered over 700 persons with dementia, carers, volunteers and employees in the local health and care services. The main topics that came up in the dialogue meetings were more involvement of people with dementia, timely diagnosis, case management, more knowledge in health services and society, the need for meaningful activities and better quality in nursing homes.  

Conclusions: This is a historic involvement of people with dementia in Norway. The Government benefited from this process as they learned more about the challenges still existing in Norway and which actions should be taken, from those who live and work with dementia every day.

P2.3. The global “young leaders address dementia” initiative to support the World Dementia Council

BREZOVAR Simon, ZIBERNA Lovro, LEIST Anja K.

The work of the World Dementia Council and the Global Action Against Dementia program in the G7 countries advances coordinated action against dementia. Within this framework, the UK Science and Innovation Network organized a series of young leaders events in Canada, Japan, the US and Europe in 2014 and 2015, in association with the thematic Global Action Against Dementia Legacy Events. The European Young Leaders Event was also open to researchers and professionals of non-G7 countries participating in the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). The workshop-like events sought to develop creative and innovative ideas to address the challenges presented by dementia. The resulting declaration together with four top recommendations in research, care, cure, and awareness were fed to the WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva in March 2015. The Young Leaders, representing different sectors of experience and expertise, have built a network and are continuing their (virtual) collaboration to address the challenges presented by dementia. On behalf of the European Young Leaders’ Network, one of the delegates participating in both the European event and the WHO Ministerial Conference will share the developed recommendations, ranging from inter-lab agreements to share funding, data, and research material (research) to standardized post-diagnosis support (care), funding of high-risk high-reward projects (cure), and education at school, of clinicians and care professionals (awareness). Ongoing developments of the initiative are reported.

P2.4. Moving forward: what should be the focus of dementia strategies in 21st century?

GOLDHARDT Oliver, JACOBSEN Wienke, SLEVIN Patrick

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared dementia a public health priority. In this context, a question now remains: what should be the focus of national and global strategies considering dementia is a public health issue? WHO describe public health as organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole – we believe this definition should act as a blueprint for future dementia strategies. By looking at current research in Germany and Ireland, this paper will create a rationale for why - early diagnosis; community strategies; and independent living, should be the focus of 21st century efforts to provide and deliver more effective and holistic care at the public level as well as the individual level.

Early Diagnosis: Clinical anti-amyloid drug trials with PWDs have not yet provided satisfactory results. But the fact that biomarker changes can be detected decades before onset has raised the hope that anti-amyloid therapy is applicable and more effective in earlier stages. In causal therapy however, limitations exist with early diagnosis, lack of an accurate prognosis, and a strong evidence base, which in turn leads to contradictory information in the media.

Community Strategies: Recently, Germany adopted a national Alliance for people with dementia but regional framework conditions must also be considered. Schleswig-Holstein is the first state, to develop a dementia plan on behalf of the state government. The promotion program of the German Federal Ministry for Families “Local Alliances for people living with dementia” focuses on improving inclusion and quality of life and supports communities in the implementation of local projects on the topic of dementia.

Independent Living: Connected Health technologies facilitate the remote delivery of healthcare, shifting the emphasis of chronic disease care to self-management and thus, independent living for patients in their own home. This is an emerging area with the potential to transform dementia healthcare and service delivery by reducing burdens on caregivers, health systems, costs, and improving the quality of life for our ageing populations.

P2.5. Greek national observatory for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: ensuring the implementation of national dementia strategy

SAKKA Paraskevi

According to the latest figures, there are 200,000 people living with dementia in Greece and 400,000 caregivers looking after them. These numbers will increase dramatically in the years to come, making dementia one of the most crucial medical, societal and economic challenges in Greece, as is all over the world.

Recognising the magnitude of the issue and responding to lobbying efforts from the Alzheimer Associations, in October 2013, the Greek state assigned a working group to develop a National Dementia Strategy. In September 2014, after a consultation period, the group presented the final draft. Key priorities of the strategy are to raise public and professional awareness, promote early diagnosis and intervention and create support services towards ameliorating the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers.

In December 2014, the Greek Parliament enacted a law, supported by the entire Greek political spectrum, to ensure the implementation of the strategy. This law authorises the establishment of an independent public institution: the National Observatory for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The Observatory will act under the guiding principles of respect, support and promotion of patients’ rights and will fulfil the following objectives:

  • Ensure the implementation and subsequent updates of the National Dementia Strategy.
  • Provide official guidance to the Parliament, the Ministry of Health and other public authorities on legislative and policy measures related to dementia.
  • Coordinate and promote the work of public and nongovernmental agents and associations, in order to ensure efficient services to patients and their caregivers.
  • Provide specific guidance for organising and promoting the national policy in research and education.
  • The Observatory has an interdisciplinary profile engaging health professionals, scientists, caregivers and other members with specific expertise and its operation must not be affected by governmental changes.

 

 
 

Last Updated: Monday 28 September 2015

 

 
  • Acknowledgements

    The 25th AE Conference in Ljubljana received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). Alzheimer Europe and Spominčica gratefully acknowledge the support of all conference sponsors.
  • European Union
  • Roche
  • SCA Global Hygiene
 
 

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