Deirdre Clune (Ireland)
MEPs speak out on dementia
Every year 1.4 million Europeans develop Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia, with the WHO estimating that there are 6.4 million people living with dementia in the European Union. Such a significant public health challenge makes it an important task for us MEPs to highlight Alzheimer’s disease in the European Parliament.
Studies have shown that improved cardiovascular risk factors and higher education levels can lead to a reduction in national dementia cases, meaning there are concrete steps that can be taken in the fight against Alzheimer’s which has such a tremendous impact on those it affects as well as their families and caregivers.
Proactive steps have already been taken in the area of European dementia care and policy such as the 2015 Luxembourg EU Presidency Council Conclusions “Supporting people living with dementia: improving care policies and practices”, the growing number of Member States with a dementia strategy, action plan or programme and the launch of the Second Joint Action Plan on Dementia.
There are a number of ways we can continue to develop dementia policy, including addressing dementia as a European public health priority in all Member States, developing a European dementia action programme to better coordinate dementia research at EU level, designating a high level EU official to coordinate activities and research in the field of dementia for existing programme and strengthen the cooperation of Member States in the Governmental Expert Group on Dementia to promote the identification and exchange of good practices.
The ultimate goal of these steps should be to improve the care and quality of life of people living with dementia and their carers, as well as decrease occurrence rates throughout the member states
Last Updated: Thursday 20 April 2017