Patricija Šulin (Slovenia)
MEPs speak out on dementia
We still don't know enough about Alzheimer's disease. Therefore it is necessary to continue informing the public about both the pathological signs and particularly about the consequences faced by patients, their families and the society as a whole. This means informing the patients and their families in order for them to cope better with the disease, as well as us policy makers to be able to properly legislate about health issues. Information should be made available both to those who are directly affected, so that they can cope better with the disease, and to all those who take decisions about health policy.
Losing your memory means losing part of your life. It could be that tomorrow dementia affects us or our loved ones so it is in the interest of us all to help and get involved. We can get involved as members of the family of the patient and share our experience with others, or as caregivers, researchers or public officials: to support, highlight or legislate. In the past MEPs have made some promising starts and we shall continue and deepen their work during this mandate. The first steps have already been taken by MEPs in the past and I intend to continue this involvement. Most of all, we have to persist and build on what has already been done.
According to the data from the European Commission, before the European initiative on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias was adopted in 2009, only one Member State had a national plan on dementia, but today there are more than half of the Member States which have adopted national plans or strategies or have started working on them. The data from the European Commission shows that at the time when the European initiative on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias was adopted in 2009, only one Member State had a national programme for dementia – now more than half of them have such programmes or are in the process of preparing them.
Last Updated: Friday 08 January 2016