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Two bills are currently under review in Italy, one to recognise family carers and one to improve dementia care interventions

Monday 16 November 2020

Earlier this year, following connections made during World Alzheimer’s Month, Senator Barbara Guidolin (pictured) invited Federazione Alzheimer Italia to be involved in drafting a bill on the recognition of the family carer, currently under examination by the Labour and Social Security Commission. Federazione Alzheimer Italia gladly shared its point of view, particularly appreciating the fact that it was a cross-cutting proposal signed by senators of heterogeneous political parties, and hoping for the political will to bring to light a law that could lead to the recognition of the family carer as a fundamental resource in society.

The drafting of this bill was followed by further, even closer collaboration in the drafting of a bill on the promotion and improvement of the quality and appropriateness of care interventions in the dementia sector. This text has been entrusted to the 12th Permanent Commission (hygiene and health) for examination. The ambitious goal of this bill is the establishment of a proper fund for dementia, intended to facilitate the implementation of the National Dementia Plan approved in 2014; a plan which, so far, has no corresponding funding. Another goal is to facilitate the application of the indications and guidelines with the aim of disseminating best practices in the field of assistance and care for people with dementia.

Among the articles that compose the bill, Federazione Alzheimer Italia looks most favourably on those aimed at guaranteeing concrete support to the solidarity networks that exist around people with dementia and their carers. The main goal of these networks is to combat stigma and isolation, as well as starting a collaboration between health and social institutions, as advocated by the National Dementia Plan.

The legislative process in Italy can be very slow, but if both bills were to be approved, Italy would be among those few countries to have legislated on two important aspects for the third sector: Firstly, for all those who are dedicating their lives to the care of loved ones; and secondly, allowing the implementation of a flexible and integrated system, able to respond promptly to the multiple needs of people with dementia and their families.