National Dementia Strategies
Germany does not have a national dementia plan. The issues of dementia are addressed through various Ministries (Health, Family, Seniors, Research, Work and Social Affairs). The German Alzheimer Association, Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft, is campaigning to have a national plan, or at least a working group to liaise between the various ministries.
On 15 September 2014, the German Dementia Alliance launched an agenda to finally implement the foundation of a national dementia strategy.
"Together for People with Dementia" is the title of the agenda of the Allianz für Menschen mit Demenz (“Alliance for People with Dementia”), started by the German government in partnership with the German Alzheimer Association, Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft (DALZG).
On 15 September, the Alliance launched its agenda in Berlin, with signatures from the Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Manuela Schwesig and the Health Minister, Hermann Gröhe. Upon signing, the Ministers effectively sounded the starting pistol to implement the results of two years of work by the Alliance and have laid the foundation for a national dementia strategy.
Local authorities, health and nursing associations, scientists and civil society have all been engaged in intensive discussions to agree on concrete measures to improve the lives of people with dementia and their families, under the chairmanship of the Federal Ministries and the co-chairmanship of the DALZG.
By 2017, the Ministers aim to have more houses and centers for people with dementia as well as building local support networks. A first progress report is planned for spring 2016.
DALZG and Alzheimer Europe (AE) Chairperson, Heike von Lützau-Hohlbein welcomed the signing of the agenda for quick and decisive action. She stressed the importance of the involvement of varied sectors in this Alliance. Heike was particularly insistent that the DALZG will work to ensure that people with dementia are involved in the decisions that affect them and ensure that families are adequately supported. She also hopes for a swift and non-bureaucratic implementation of the agreed objectives even if the agenda contains no binding obligations. “We have no time to lose”, she urged.
AE Executive Director, Jean Georges also participated in the meeting and provided an overview of EU initiatives on dementia. He also called for greater German involvement in these initiatives and for support for the development of a European dementia strategy.
Dementia Strategy for state of Saarland
Despite there being no National Dementia Strategy in place in Germany on 10 December the state of Saarland - the most western state in Germany – became the second state in the country to develop its own dementia strategy, with Bavaria being the first, in 2013.
The main topics of this Saarland plan are:
- Support of people with dementia and carers
- Enhancement of care pathways, and
These topics are is in line with the German “Alliance for people with dementia” signed in September 2014 as a first step towards a National Dementia Plan. The Saarland plan was introduced by the Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family, Monika Bachmann, and was presented in further detail by one of its authors, Sabine Kirchen-Peters.
Heike von Lützau-Hohlbein - in her role as Chairperson of Alzheimer Europe (AE) - spoke about dementia in both the national and international context. She commented that she hopes these state initiatives will “result in a powerful movement towards a German plan.”
The Dementia Strategy of Bavaria was published in 2013. Due to dementia being a condition that affects all aspects of life, a collaborative inter-ministerial approach to developing the strategy was adopted. Five key objectives were defined:
- Change society´s awareness of dementia
- Ensure the dignity and self-determination of persons with dementia throughout all stages of the disease
- Improve the living conditions and the quality of life for persons with dementia and their family caregivers
- Improve the opportunity to participate in social life for persons with dementia and their family caregivers
- Ensure appropriate levels of support and care tailored to individual needs
These five key objectives are concretised in ten main fields of action:
- Public education and public relations
- Prevention and timely diagnosis
- Training and education
- Home care and easing the burden for informal caregivers
- Inpatient care in hospitals and in geriatric rehabilitation facilities
- Inpatient care in nursing homes
- End-of-life care
- Networks and municipal structures
- Basic and health services research
- Legal support
In each main field of action a number of projects are implemented, which are funded by the Bavarian State Government.
The further implementation and advancement of the strategy is supervised by the inter-ministerial Working Group on the Bavarian Dementia Strategy.
Last Updated: Wednesday 06 January 2016