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2018: Comparsion of National Dementia Strategies

Drawing together the information presented within this report, it is important to consider that the information presented is a reflection of the content of the strategies; it does not provide further insight into the experience of living with the condition, the nature of services or the extent to which policy is being implemented in each country.

Despite this, it is still useful to be able to reflect on the themes and approaches which are present within the strategies. We see that the greatest number of commitments and content largely relate to the provision of health and social care services for people with dementia, including around care coordination, diagnosis, treatment and the training of practitioners. Aside from these service-focused commitments, awareness raising amongst the public and improved infrastructure and resources around research were areas of significant focus for many of the strategies.

Although there are considerable differences between countries (in terms of the sizes of population, economic position or structures/operation of the healthcare systems), this prioritisation of issues remained broadly consistent for most strategies.

Prevention was an area acknowledged and dealt with by some strategies, although mainly on primary prevention linked to awareness raising. Although some strategies differentiated between types of prevention, most did not. However, it was true that many did not identify interventions (e.g. services providing therapeutic interventions) as forms of secondary or tertiary forms of prevention.

It was disappointing there was not a greater focus on carers within the strategies. Whilst most included the matter to some extent, it was often as an addition to the service offer for the person with dementia, without identifying the distinct needs of carers in their own right. However, it was positive that a number of strategies recognised that informal carers need training and support if they are to carry out a caregiving role.

Additionally, we would have welcomed more strategies including a focus on human rights and legal matters for people with dementia. Where present, it was welcome to see references to international agreements such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), underlining the rights of people with dementia, especially in relation to the need for people to be involved in their own care and support, as well as in broader policy and decision-making processes.

It was interesting to note some strategies begin to consider technology in relation to dementia, although no consensus was evident; whilst many recognise its role in supporting daily living, others identified it as a means for greater information provision.

We hope this yearbook provides a useful overview of the approach of dementia strategies of the countries that have them, highlighting some of the policy convergence which exists across Europe, identifying potential areas of future focus, whilst also acting as a useful resource for those countries working towards the development of their own strategies. Table 2 on the attached page provides a high-level overview of the content of all the strategies covered in the document, providing a broad indication of the most common themes addressed within European dementia strategies.

Table 2: National dementia strategies at a glance



Last Updated: Monday 29 April 2019

  • 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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