Salzburg Global Calls for Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities on World Alzheimer’s Day

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Sep 21, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Calls for Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities on World Alzheimer’s Day

Salzburg Statement from the program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, endorsed by health care professionals across the world Two out of every three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International

Two out of every three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).

As ADI marks World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21, Salzburg Global Fellows are calling for greater innovations in care and support for those diagnosed with Dementia and their families and communities.

The Salzburg Statement on Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, which was written by Fellows of the Salzburg Global program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, was first published in July and has since garnered endorsements from health professionals around the world.

A dementia-friendly community, as defined by Alzheimer’s Disease International, is a place or culture in which people with dementia and their carers are empowered, supported and included in society, understand their rights and recognize their potential.

This Salzburg Statement calls on community and health care leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers and advocates to:

  • Work collaboratively and alongside people impacted by dementia to design and implement innovative community-based solutions to improve the wellbeing of persons living with dementia and their care partners.
  • Initiate and support the transformation toward “Dementia-Inclusive and -Friendly Communities.”
  • Promote community-based solutions that can be translated across the boundaries of households, health and social service systems, municipalities, and nations.

Health professionals are called to:

  • Ensure increased access to a timely and honest dementia diagnosis using words and language that enable and empower individuals.
  • Place a high value on community-based programs and social services by being informed about what is available and sharing this information with those living with the disease and their families.

Researchers and policymakers to:

  • Invest in rigorous qualitative research to define quality of life and wellbeing from the perspective of people with dementia.
  • Develop more accurate measures of quality of life and wellbeing of people with dementia and their care partners, as well as measures that demonstrate the role of community in supporting people with dementia and their care partners.
  • Implement rigorous evaluations of Dementia Friendly Communities, including structural readiness, person-centered outcomes, and community-level impact in order to ensure better transparency, dissemination, and transfer of best practices and collaborative tools from community to community.
  • Support policies that utilize the resources and capacity of the community to the greatest extent possible.

View the Salzburg Statement on Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities on Issuu

The program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running Health and Health Care Innovation series and was held in partnership with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Mayo Clinic in December 2017.

Around 50 participants from all regions of the world, including health and social care leaders, patients and their representatives, and policymakers, took part in a highly participatory program focusing on building new insights and aggregating perspectives from different sectors.

Salzburg Global Fellows Chris Roberts and Jayne Goodrick, a couple from North Wales, UK, took part in the program to share their lived experiences of dementia and to help bridge divides between service providers and patients. Roberts has a diagnosis of mixed dementia, vascular damage and Alzheimer’s, while Goodrick’s mother has a diagnosis of dementia and small vessel disease.

Alongside healthcare professionals and policymakers working in the field, their experiences helped influence the creation of the Salzburg Statement.

Goodrick said, “People are very paternalistic and will give what they think we on the ground need, and what we on the ground need is actually sometimes something very much different to what we’re offered.”

John Lotherington, program director for health and health care programs at Salzburg Global Seminar, said, "There have been great strides forward in the development of dementia care and dementia friendly communities in recent years, but much remains to be done to take this to further scale and meet greatly increasing need. At Salzburg Global Seminar it has been a privilege to work with some of the great pioneers in this work to extend the global call to community and health care leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, health professionals, and researchers and advocates to come together to achieve dementia friendly communities for all those living with dementia and those who care for them."

Download the Statement as a PDF

To submit your endorsement of the Salzburg Statement on Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, please click here.