Salzburg Global Fellows Call for Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities

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Jul 31, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Fellows Call for Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities

Salzburg Global Fellows from Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities issue call for action Participants of the Salzburg Global program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities

Salzburg Global Fellows are pressing for the committed support of dementia inclusive and friendly communities across the world.

This call to action features as part of a Salzburg Statement published as a result of discussions at the Salzburg Global program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities.

The program 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, patient representatives, and policymakers, took part in a highly participatory program focusing on building new insights and aggregating perspectives from different sectors.

Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative diseases have a profound impact on the person with dementia, their carers and families, the local community, and the broader society. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects the number of people living with dementia to triple from 50 million in 2017 to 152 million by 2050.

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

Download the Salzburg Statement in full by clicking here


The program, Changing Minds: Innovations in Dementia Care and Dementia-Friendly Communities, is part of Salzburg Global Seminar multi-year series Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century. This year’s session is held in partnership with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and the Mayo Clinic. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGShealth on Twitter and Instagram.