In collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia (RA) and Alzheimer's Disease International, Alzheimer's Care Armenia (ACA) has developed a National Dementia Plan, which demonstrates a significant step forward in ACA's ongoing efforts to support people with dementia. The plan was created with input from doctors, psychologists, and sociologists over a year-long period and aims to prevent the spread of dementia in Armenia by increasing awareness among older people and outlining the necessary steps to improve patient care and support. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-70% of cases and the research conducted by ACA demonstrates that dementia is a critical problem in Armenia. “As part of our efforts to combat this issue, Alzheimer's Care Armenia has been conducting memory tests for individuals over 40 years of age in various regions of Armenia and Yerevan. To date, the organisation has tested more than 4,000 people and provided guidance on appropriate care and lifestyle changes”, noted Ofelya Kamavosyan, ACA project manager, during a press conference about the announcement.
Kristine Galstyan, the chief specialist of the Public Health Department of the RA Ministry of Health, noted that Armenia is among the few countries that have developed this kind of plan. “As the plan implementations are set to be by 2026, a lot of activities are already being carried out in parallel to make the plan as effective as it can be,” said the specialist. “Unfortunately, people or their caregivers seek help when dementia is advanced, but we often see that cognitive problems are much more than dementia. If we take extra steps to ensure people see a doctor during the early stages, many cognitive deficits could be managed efficiently”, noted psychiatrist Gevorg Pashikyan, Chief Advisor on Psychiatry to the RA Minister of Health, while speaking of important preventive measures to be implemented with the Dementia plan.
The National Dementia Plan is one of the most potent tools available to achieve these objectives. It identifies the stages of the work that need to be carried out, the important steps in the rising awareness of risk factors, policies to be developed, and the periods during which each phase will be implemented, said ACA in its press release about the launch of the new plan. The association also said "Alzheimer's Care Armenia is proud to have played a role in developing this critical document, and we are committed to working with stakeholders across Armenia to implement its recommendations". Alzheimer Europe congratulates ACA, its national member association in Armenia, for this hugely important step forward!