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2018: Comparison of National Dementia Strategies in Europe

Country comparisons


It gives me great pleasure to introduce this comparative report on the dementia strategies from countries across Europe.

Alzheimer Europe covered this subject in our yearbook in 2012, with a more specific focus examining the approaches to diagnosis, treatment and research in European countries. At that time, fewer countries had a specific dementia strategy. We now have 21 countries and regions with a dementia strategy, two countries whose governments have formally committed to the development of a strategy, two neurodegenerative strategies published and further work underway in other European countries.

By reviewing the content of the national dementia strategies in each country, it has been possible to get a sense of the convergence in approach to dementia policy and practice which has taken place in recent years. Similarly, it is evident that despite significant differences between countries (e.g. in the structure of health and social care systems or economic status), there is commonality in many of the challenges experienced, including coordinating different stands of care and support, in ensuring that all staff are able to provide high quality care and support from diagnosis to end of life, and raising societal awareness and understanding of the condition.

It is also welcome that we are beginning to see a holistic approach to dementia taken in many countries. Whilst care and support are undoubtedly significant aspects of most strategies, it is apparent that there is recognition that many interdependent factors must be addressed in a coordinated way. For example, linking public awareness raising and early diagnosis, whilst ensuring that matters of legal capacity, decision making and end of life care are connected to ensure persons with dementia receive care and support which reflects their needs and wishes.

Undoubtedly, this report shows that progress is being made across Europe. However, we must recognise that there is much work still to do. Many countries still do not have strategies and require support to convince their governments of the need to develop them. In countries which have strategies, we know that implementation is variable and further work is needed to hold governments to the commitments they have made.

We hope this report is helpful in outlining the current state of play of dementia policy across dementia, whilst also providing a useful reference point for those countries in the process of developing their own strategies.

I would finally like to thank member organisations who supported this work, the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) and their supporters for their personal reflections, and acknowledge the work of Owen Miller, Policy Officer, in collating the information from the strategies and writing this report.

Jean Georges

Executive Director, Alzheimer Europe



Last Updated: Wednesday 22 January 2020


  • Acknowledgements

    This report received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Yearbook represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains
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