“Dementia is not a natural part of growing old”

AE-Declaration-Dementia

Dementia is a syndrome, typically involving loss of memory, mood changes and problems with thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement.

These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged as a result of one or more diseases or conditions, the most common one being Alzheimer’s disease. It is usually a progressive or chronic condition, which is not a natural part of growing old.

The way in which people experience dementia depends on numerous internal and external factors, including the support and treatment that is available to them. However, people with dementia are increasingly emphasising that despite the challenges it brings, it is possible to live well with dementia.

It is clear that no single country can overcome dementia’s financial and socio-economic impact; this will only be possible through a collective effort. In Europe, there are already many good examples of collaborative initiatives on dementia. The time has come now to bring these initiatives together under a comprehensive European strategy which is what we call for in our Declaration.

A public health priority

Dementia should be a public health priority for many reasons, including:

  • Public health impact: there are currently 8.7 million people with dementia in the European Union and this number is expected to at least double by 2040.
  • Socio-economic impact: the total cost of dementia disorders in the EU in 2008 was estimated to be EUR 160 billion, of which 56% were costs of informal care.
  • Impact on carers: a survey by Alzheimer Europe found that the time spent on caring increases with disease severity: in the early stages, 20% of carers already reported that they spend more than ten hours per day caring for the person with dementia. This increases to 50% of carers of people with dementia in the late stages of the disease.

We will continue our campaign until 30 November, after which we will present the results at the European Parliament. Sign the #GlasgowDeclaration today and help make real change happen for people living with dementia!

Jean Georges

Jean Georges

Jean Georges is the Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe (AE). Before joining the organisation in 1996, he worked as a journalist and as a parliamentary assistant to members of the Luxembourg and European Parliament. In 2006, he was appointed as one of the two patient representatives on the Management Board of the European Medicines Agency for two terms and he was also a member of the Board of the European Patients' Forum during its formative years

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2 Responses to “Dementia is not a natural part of growing old”

  1. elvira says:

    DENTRO DE LAS NECESIDADES QUE NECESITA UN ENFERMO DE ALZHEIMER EL CUIDADOR NECESITA MAS POR QUE EL ENFERMO ESTA BIEN HA TENDIDO PERO EL CUIDADOR NO POR QUE 24 HORAS CUIDANDO UNA PERSONA CON ALZHEIMER TERMINA DESQUICIADO

  2. […] Read the full article from the European Patients Forum. […]

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