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Karl-Heinz Florenz (Germany)

MEPs speak out on dementia

Karl-Heinz Florenz (Germany) contributes to the first edition of the Dementia in Europe Yearbook which presented information on the prevalence of dementia, the availability of anti-dementia medicines and the provision of home care (December 2007).

Karl-Heinz Florenz

Karl-Heinz Florenz: Alzheimer as a part of dementia is a disease which is growing to be one of the big themes in the western hemisphere. Actually, it is one of the major causes of death in the western countries.

This illness is so malicious because its consequences hit the patients in the most fundamental aspects of their lives - in the most elementary behaviour like talking, thinking, remembering. Alzheimer steals memories - and with these, in fact a whole life. Another cause for the depressing character of this illness is the fact that it does not influence only the patient, but all relatives and friends who have known the ill person before Alzheimer - who are then accompanying the sick persons on their difficult way to living with the illness.

As Chairman of the Committee for environment, public health and food safety in the European Parliament, the vehement fight against Alzheimer is one of my main requests. We have figured out its potential impacts and are working on practicable solutions - solutions for the benefit of the population. It makes me confident to see that there have been big advances in our fight against Alzheimer and dementia in the last years. However, these little steps may not lead astray from the fact that there is still a long way to go to help the Alzheimer patients.

However, not only the sick, but also their relatives and friends have to be accompanied by us. It is the politicians` homework to open the population’s mind for the big burden that living with Alzheimer constitutes. People affected with this illness deserve our respect and gratitude.

This book will be a very important tessera - it will do its share in the battle. I am really looking forward to the discussion concerning the results of the comprised studies and the new impulses that the book will give.

The fight against Alzheimer will be a long one. However, I am convinced that we will win it - if we stand close to both the ill people as well as to their relatives and friends taking care for them - in good and even in bad times.



Last Updated: Wednesday 14 October 2009