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AE launches European Dementia Monitor 2017 at the European Parliament

Tuesday 27 June 2017

On 27 June 2017, Alzheimer Europe (AE) launched its new publication, the European Dementia Monitor 2017, during a lunch debate hosted by Deirdre Clune, MEP (Ireland) in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The objective of the report was to provide a benchmark of national dementia policies in order to compare and rate the responses of European countries to the dementia challenge. The survey covered all Member States of the European Union (with the exception of Estonia), as well as Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Jersey, Israel, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The publication highlights existing inequalities in access to dementia care and treatment across Europe.

Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe, stated: “Our organisation has been lobbying for the recognition of dementia as a public health priority and called on European governments to develop national dementia strategies. The aim of the European Dementia Monitor is to assess which countries provide the most dementia-friendly policies and guarantee the best support and treatment of people with dementia and their carers”.

The European Dementia Monitor compares countries on 10 different categories:

  1. The availability of care services
  2. The affordability of care services
  3. The reimbursement of medicines
  4. The availability of clinical trials
  5. The involvement of the country in European dementia research initiatives
  6. The recognition of dementia as a priority
  7. The development of dementia-friendly initiatives
  8. The recognition of legal rights
  9. The ratification of International and European human rights treaties
  10. Care and employment rights

According to the findings of the European Dementia Monitor, no country excelled in all ten categories and there were significant differences between European countries with most of the Western and Northern European countries scoring significantly higher than Eastern European countries.

Some of the key findings were:

  • Finland scored highest on care availability and affordability since it provided the most care services and ensured that these services were accessible and affordable for people with dementia and their carers.
  • On treatment, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (both England and Scotland) came first, as all anti-dementia treatments were fully reimbursed and the countries had a policy in place to limit the inappropriate use of antipsychotics.
  • Germany, France and Spain scored highest in the clinical trial category, as it was possible for people with dementia to take part in all nine phase III clinical trials currently being conducted in Europe.
  • Italy was the country that was the most committed to and active in European dementia research collaborations.
  • Ireland and Norway came first in the recognition of dementia as a national policy and research priority.
  • Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (England) had the most inclusive and dementia-friendly initiatives and communities.
  • Germany, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom (England and Scotland) complied with Alzheimer Europe’s four recommendations with regard to respecting the legal rights of people with dementia and their carers.
  • Finland and Norway had ratified the most International and European human rights conventions.
  • Ireland came first with regard to the care and employment rights which are recognised.

Ms Clune (pictured) welcomed the findings: “As a Member of the European Parliament and the European Alzheimer’s Alliance, I am interested in how European countries differ in their approaches to dementia care and treatment. I hope that this report will be an incentive for some countries to further improve their support to people with dementia and their carers and to learn from those countries which have put more dementia-friendly policies in place. As an Irish MEP, I was happy to see that Ireland excelled in some key areas with the development of our national dementia strategy, the Irish Working Group of People with Dementia and the recognition of care and employment rights. However, my country is also lagging behind in other areas and it is time, for example, for Ireland to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”

Read our full press release here: