articles/interview :: Press release of the AGE platform on Alzheimer's day (21 September)
23 September 2012
With the number of people with dementia increasing with the ageing of the population and expected to reach 15 million by 2050, creating environments that empower older people and people with dementia to lead independent lives and take an active part in society for longer must become a priority for EU decision-makers. This requires a holistic approach to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, beyond medical treatment, and better coordination between all relevant stakeholders, in order to improve the quality of life and dignity of patients and their families. It is essential to create an environment that favours the inclusion of people with dementia and their relatives in their communities e.g. by tackling the stigma attached to these diseases, favouring as much as possible community-based care, by supporting families and carers, adapting staff training and housing equipment and design, training bus drivers, salespersons, the police and other members of the public on how to deal with a person with Alzheimer’s, etc. Many initiatives already exist across the EU, which could inspire further action in other Member States. For example, dementia-friendly housing adaptations such as bright open spaces, calming colours and a relaxing atmosphere impact positively on everyone and create living spaces that are better adapted to the needs of all age groups (universal design). This is why, in the framework of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, AGE Platform Europe and Alzheimer Europe join forces to call for the launch of a European Covenant of local and regional authorities on demographic change, whose objective will be to promote age and Alzheimer-friendly environments across the EU.