EESC opinion: Alzheimer's disease

Key points

The EESC welcomes the Communication on a European Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias because it is an issue of critical importance in Europe which has implications for individuals, families and society, given the ageing population.

The EESC recommends awareness campaigns to improve public knowledge of dementia in order to increase timely diagnosis and to reduce stigma.

The EESC recommends a greater breadth in the range of research areas for support and welcomes the Joint Programming approach in research.

The EESC recommends that the open method of coordination should be extended to health so that the development of specific national strategies and quality frameworks for dementia can be encouraged. The Health Programme and Structural Funds should be used to develop models of care and implement training in dementia care at local level in acute, long term care and the community.

The EESC strongly emphasises the importance of the application of the European Convention on Human Rights for people with dementia.

The EESC supports the action point in the Communication for the establishment of a European Network using the facilities provided by the Health Programme.

The EESC urges the dissemination and implementation of the Communication at all levels in collaboration with Alzheimer organisations, governments, the Commission and other appropriate bodies, including the EESC.