On the 20 of April María José Moreno, a neurologist working for the Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Vigo (CHUVI) and a member of the Galician dementia research network gave a conference in the Club Faro where she addressed the issue of dementia from a scientific, social and familial point of view.
The Neurologist stated that “Alzheimer’s is a challenge for all of us.” This is a major issue that goes beyond the health and social care field and involves society as a whole. It requires a comprehensive care approach that reaches with the same intensity both the ill person and their caregiver,” she pointed out.
She also gave the attendants some interesting data about this disease, like, for example, that this disease is the most common cause of dementia, between 60% -80% of cases, and one of the main causes of disability and dependence in older people. She also told the attendants that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes this disease as a public health priority and gave some numbers: every three seconds an Alzheimer’s case is diagnosed, which amounts to ten million new cases worldwide every year.
According to WHO in 2015 there were 50 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s worldwide, it is estimated that this number will triple reaching 152 million by 2050.
María José Moreno told her public that seeing these numbers it was urgent to adopt global measures since the number of caregivers was decreasing because of population ageing and low birth rates.
I regard to families and caregivers she stated that; “it’s not a family matter of “whose turn is it to take care of the ill person” it not even a matter of the ill person’s family. it’s the whole society’s duty.” she also explained that all care had to be focused on the ill person from the big laboratories and the health care system to their family “Our healthcare has to be focused in the ill person, ensuring their rights and dignity, never excluding them. We have to remember that in spite of the illness they are the same person,” she said.
It is urgent to create a dementia unit
Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Afaga’s president, who presented the conference, insisted in the urgent need to create a dementia unit in Vigo to address this illness though prevention, early detection and interdisciplinary treatment. He said that that was political promise that they had to fulfill.
Afaga’s president also demanded an autonomic transversal plan for dementia, capable of addressing the social challenge this disease entails.