Among older people in the WHO European Region, dementia is the leading cause of dependency and disability. Dementia currently affects around 10 million people in the Region, and its prevalence is expected to double by 2030. Moreover, it places a burden on regional economies, with estimated costs of US$ 300 billion per year.
A lack of awareness and knowledge about dementia is prevalent in many countries. This results in stigmatization and barriers to early diagnosis and treatment. To address this, countries must recognize dementia as a public health priority and improve the care of people with dementia through early diagnosis, comprehensive treatment and support for caregivers.
Additionally, countries must scale up public awareness and advocacy to reduce stigmatization and discrimination, and improve the quality of life for people living with or affected by dementia. Research on risk factors and the effectiveness of new treatments also requires support.
The European Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 calls for activities to support mental health among older people, including:
The Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families, while decreasing the impact of dementia on communities and countries. It provides a set of actions to realize the vision of a world in which dementia is prevented and people with dementia and their carers receive the care and support they need to live a life with meaning and dignity. Areas for action include:
The gist of MYH4D Intellectual outputs (MOOC, Community of practice and Guidelines for policy makers) are to increase the awareness but far more give support to dementia carers or to all people who get in touch and involved with people with dementia. This will result in better quality of life for the person with dementia and strenghten a more inclusive society.