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Improving dementia care worldwide

Implementing national dementia plans report

Bupa and global dementia federation Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), published an international report that reviewed existing National Dementia Plans from around the world and put forward, for the first time, recommendations for governments on what a best practice plan should include; how one should be developed; and how it should be implemented. 

In the report Bupa and ADI called on every government to develop a National Dementia Plan and to use the report as a guide and source of information and inspiration. A National Dementia Plan – a policy document developed by a national government, often in collaboration with national Alzheimer’s charities and other stakeholders – is credited with improving national awareness and education about dementia and improving access to treatment, care and support which advances the social well-being and quality of life of those living with the condition. 

Only 11 countries around the world – UK (separate plans for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, South Korea, USA, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium – have developed such a Plan. As prevalence of dementia and associated care costs (currently US$604 billion) soar, National Dementia Plans will be ever more important to keep long-term care affordable and sustainable.

The report, called ‘Improving Dementia Care Worldwide’,was written by Professor Anne Margriet Pot and Dr Ionela Petrea from the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos-institute). 

Commenting on the report, Professor Pot said:

“None of the current Plans we reviewed serve as a ‘gold standard’ but there are certainly lessons that one government can learn from the experiences of another – to decide what would be the right content for the plan to focus on, how to develop a plan in an efficient way and how to stimulate the effectiveness of its implementation.” 

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International, said:

“National Alzheimer’s charities are ready to help their governments develop a National Dementia Plan – we have the data, the expertise and the insights to make it relevant and effective. Governments in Mexico and Peru are currently developing their own Plans, which will take the worldwide number to 13 – we will share this report with them and other governments to prompt similar action.”

Professor Graham Stokes, Global Director of Dementia Care, Bupa, said:

“It’s fundamental that the right resources are in place to ensure that people living with dementia are properly cared for and that their families and friends are properly supported – a National Dementia Plan is critical to this. This report captures global insights and learnings from other plans that already exist so no government need ever start from scratch.”