On 8 May 2012, Finland launched a national dementia plan called the "National Memory Programme 2012-2020", which aimed to create a a "memory-friendly Finland" and was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Muistiliitto (the Finnish Alzheimer Society) was involved in the development and work of the Memory Programme, as well as having involvement in the a national framework for high-quality services and care for older people.
Outline of the strategy
The Programme outlined that:
A “memory-friendly” Finland is a society that takes the promotion of brain health and the early detection of cognitive symptoms seriously. Anyone diagnosed with cognitive problems or dementia has access to appropriate treatment, care and rehabilitation. Patients can lead their lives with dignity, and they will not be left without support.
To achieve this aim of memory-friendly Finland, four pillar were outlined, under which sat specific actions:
- The promotion of lifelong brain health and the prevention of memory-related diseases. Brain health will be promoted both on a personal level and on a very broad level across society, including social and health services and education.
- The ageing of the population is causing a marked increase of memory-related diseases in Finland. The plan will promote positive attitudes towards people with dementia in order to guarantee their basic human rights, including the right to self-determination.
- Good care and rehabilitation is essential. It is important that memory-related diseases be recognised, diagnosed and treated as early as possible. There will be a particular focus on the entire care chain and its quality.
- Support for high quality research and competence of professionals are important. Research efforts must be adequately resourced, in order to support the areas above and also to ensure further development. This includes developing the knowledge and competencies of health care professionals.
Further information on the Memory Programme and work on dementia policy in Finland can be found at: https://www.muistiliitto.fi/en/alzheimer-society-finland/national-memory-programme
The full Memory Programme (in English) can be downloaded below.