Adoption of a resolution on a European Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
On 19 January, the European Parliament adopted its resolution on a “European Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias”, in which the Council of Ministers announces that dementia is a health priority for the European Union and urges the EU Member States to draw up special national programmes to deal with the social and healthcare consequences of dementia and provide aid for sufferers and their families. The MEPs stressed the structural problems which will arise from an ageing population within the Member States and the need to develop a EU long-term strategy including a determined prevention policy covering both medicine and healthy lifestyles, the adoption of common protocols for early diagnosis indicators and of a research agenda for neurodegenerative diseases. They also encouraged EU countries to set up an interconnected European network of specialist reference centres for dementia to enable Member States to share research information and so provide better level of care and reduce inequalities between EU countries.
AGE welcomes this report which makes proposals to enhance medical research and support new treatment for Alzheimer’s diseases and other dementias.
In addition, the MEPs have put emphasis on various elements linked to the quality of life of both patients, family and carers, which AGE considers as very important to have a comprehensive approach. In particular, AGE appreciates the clear recognition of the difficulties encountered by patients and families concerning stigmatisation and social exclusion(necessity to fight discrimination and to enhance dignity), the very heavy burden for informal carers, mostly women. The invitation made to Member States to support respite care echoed the continuous call of AGE to support family carers. Concerning medical treatment, the resolution calls for a reduction of use of anti-psychotic medicines, of which negative effects are often underlined by AGE members. It insists as well on the necessity to develop research on non pharmaceutical treatments, on socio-economic impacts and on use of new technologies to alleviate burden on carers. Last but not least, the EP resolution invites the European Commission, the Council and Member States to work on safety standards for institutions specialising in care of older people, another objective that AGE is campaignign for.
Link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0016+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN (document available in all EU languages)