Press release: World Alzheimer’s Day 21 September 2009

AGE Press Release 21 September 2009

On the occasion of the World Alzheimer’s Day AGE welcomes the Swedish Presidency and upcoming European Commission political commitment to promote healthy and dignified ageing and a better cooperation and coordination of health and eldercare services.

Demographic ageing is a worldwide process resulting from improved health care over the last century. More people live longer and healthier lives, so the world proportion of older people is growing. An ageing society is good news which offers new opportunities, but it brings challenges as well. The significant increase in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is one of these.

The development of long term care services and the improvement of care coordination and cooperation between Member States are needed to enhance quality in elderly care in the European Union. It is also more than welcome by those who are the target groups of these care services: i.e. older people who are or may become dependent and in need of care and their families. As Minister Larsson outlined at a conference in Stockholm last week, the promotion of healthy and dignified ageing is one of the top priorities on the Swedish Presidency’s agenda. It is also on the list of President Barroso’s objectives for the upcoming Commission and the European Parliament seems to be supportive and interested to work on the promotion of longer and healthier lives.

The issues of dignity of care and individual protection have so far been dealt with inadequately. With the increasing reliance on a variety of providers (private, profit and non-profit providers) and the development of a single market for LTC services and free movement of care professionals and patients, the EU has the duty to take the necessary action to ensure the protection of this vulnerable group of users and the respect of their fundamental rights.

“The time is right to work together to look for sustainable solutions, through exchange of views and better coordination and cooperation between stakeholders and between countries and regions. AGE hopes that all Member States will support the proposal to have 2012 declared European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity and that the Swedish Presidency will propose to start to prepare a real European Strategy to be launched in 2012 to ensure that everyone in the EU can enjoy a healthy and dignified ageing.” said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Director, at the conference on Healthy and Dignified Ageing in Stockholm on 15-16 September 2009.

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