Coinciding with World Alzheimer’s Day, the government has announced it is starting work on a new national strategy for dealing with dementia in Denmark.
There are 39,000 Danes diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, and many more are expected to suffer from dementia symptoms without having been diagnosed.
The increasing average age of the population is likely to increase the number of sufferers, and it is estimated that a fifth of Danes who live to be more than 85 years old will develop dementia.
Aim: a dementia-friendly Denmark
The Health Ministry’s new strategy, which is scheduled to run until 2025, aims to make Denmark more dementia-friendly by speeding up the diagnosis so that sufferers can start treatment sooner, thus helping supporting relatives in their day-to-day lives.
Sophie Løhde, the health minister, emphasised the impact dementia can have on sufferers and their relatives.
“Dementia is a terrible illness that completely changes the life of sufferers and their relatives. A person struck by dementia doesn’t just lose their past, but also often their relationship with their spouse, their children, their grandchildren, their friends and their acquaintances, and that’s a tragedy for the whole family,” she said.
“And we are therefore beginning work on a national dementia plan, which among other things should equip the health sector to more quickly diagnose and treat dementia and ensure that relatives don’t get worn down, but instead get support and relief.”
The budget for the strategy, which will be developed in collaboration with interest organisations and finalised by the autumn of 2016, will run up to hundreds of millions of kroner.