TAILORING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM TO MEET THE NEEDS OF AGING POPULATIONS
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Aging populations change the appearance and the needs of health care systems worldwide. Even though people stay healthy longer, there is a definite increase in age-associated illnesses, like for example in dementia. The number of people with dementia (PwD) in Germany is expected to grow beyond 2 million until 2030. However, the development differs strongly between different regions, ranging between no change up to an increase of 50%. The proportion of PwD in the population is 2,61% nationally, but varies by county between < 2% and >4%. These regional prognoses are helpful to plan health care and support for the coming 10 years at an early stage and evidence-based. The population of PwD is growing as important group in all counties in Germany.
But how can the health care system react to this challenge? In the absence of vaccine or cure for dementia, it is a critical starting point for realising and optimising prevention of dementia. Health promotion and prevention needs to consider the individual’s health status. Focussing on measures of primary (eliminating causes and risk factors, e.g., education and immunisation) and secondary prevention (early detection and intervention, e.g.,) but also tertiary prevention which is about reducing the consequences and complications of disease and disability (e.g. self-management and rehabilitation).
Furthermore, dementia and geriatric diseases do all impact caregivers and the social network. At the moment, informal caregiver do the emajority of support for people affected by dementia, being put at a higher risk themselves. How can societies tackle this challenge? One way, is national dementia plans that put it on the societies´agenda. The presentation will illustrate the situation in Germany, focussing on current developments and future directions. The national dementia strategy and health care approaches will be discussed and pput into an international framework.
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