Alzheimer Europe presents the 44th edition of Dementia in Europe magazine


It is with great pleasure that we introduce the 44th edition of our Dementia in Europe magazine, which contains many important updates on European and national policy developments in the dementia field. We open the Alzheimer Europe section with a report on our most recent European Parliament lunch debate, held in December 2023 and focusing on a new edition of our European Dementia Monitor as well as on our 2024 EU Elections Campaign. We would like to thank Deirdre Clune MEP (Ireland), Vice-Chairperson of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance, for hosting this important event. Our next article takes a closer look at the content of the European Dementia Monitor 2023. We then have a series of articles about four new publications from Alzheimer Europe: Our 2023 Yearbook on the topic of legal capacity and supported decision-making, our new guide on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) review process, and two new position papers – one on disclosing dementia risk and one on anti-amyloid therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. The penultimate article in this section focuses on a recent collaborative event for Public Involvement in European brain health research, held in Luxembourg and involving six European research projects that joined together in a series of consultations, whilst the final article looks back at the newly-closed EU-FINGERS project, a collaborative initiative developing tools to conduct new clinical studies for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

In the Policy section, we start with important news from Slovenia, which has just published its second National dementia strategy. Minister of Health, Valentina Prevolnik Rupel, outlines more details about the new strategy, and President of Spominčica, Štefanija L. Zlobec, shares the association’s response to the strategy. Up next, we share details of our campaign work in the run up to the European Parliament elections 2024, aiming for dementia to be prioritised as a policy matter at a European level. Building on previous advocacy work, the campaign has been developed with three distinct elements: The Helsinki Manifesto; A Public Call to Action, and the Dementia Pledge 2024. Going back to the national level, we speak to Dr Mairéad Bracken-Scally and Dr Seán O’Dowd from the Irish Health Service Executive to find out more about the publication of the Model of Care for Dementia in Ireland in 2023, and then to Jacqueline Hoogendam and Sara Elkiki from the Dutch Government, to learn about the country’s recent international conference which took place under the banner “Defeating Dementia”. Closing off the policy section, we asked Yongjie Yon, Technical Officer on Ageing and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO) to tell our readers about the Regional Summit for Policy Innovation on Healthy Ageing in Lisbon, Portugal, co-organised by WHO Europe and the Directorate General of Health of Portugal. Our third and final section, Dementia in Society, starts off with a personal account of living with dementia, written by Barry Northedge, Scottish member of the European Dementia Carers Working Group, who shares his wife Margaret’s story both before and after diagnosis. We then find out about the “ABOARD” project in the Netherlands, the halfway point of which was marked by the “ABOARD Midterm Meeting” in late 2023.

Project leader Wiesje van der Flier from Alzheimer Center Amsterdam shares the achievements so far and we also hear from some of the project’s early stage researchers about their involvement. The film “Waltzing Matilda” is the subject of the third article in this section. Directed by Czech screenwriter, renowned documentary and theatre director and author of several TV dramas, Petr Slavík and produced by his wife Nataša Slavíková, the film is an intimate family drama about bailiff Karel Jaroš, his mother the former choir singer Matilda, and Karel’s teenage son Pavel. We interviewed producer Nataša Slavíková about the reasons for making the film and to learn more about the characters and the message. We end this section and indeed the magazine with a look at a new book emerging from Scotland, called “Challenging Assumptions Around Dementia”. The book seeks to challenge preconceived ideas about dementia and its co-authors are six people living with dementia and six who support or have supported someone with the condition. Their work was brought together by research psychologist Dr Rosalie Ashworth, so Alzheimer Europe asked Dr Ashworth and two of the book’s co-authors, David Ross and Agnes Houston, to tell us more. The Dementia in Europe magazine can be downloaded, here: