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Alzheimers’ The Family Disease

Nessa Childers MEP has recently completed work on a major new EU proposal to step up cooperation and support to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for patients and sufferers of Alzheimers and Dementia, and invites all to attend her seminar ‘Shared Priorities – the Dementia Agenda in European and Ireland’ to be held on 17th June in Dublin.

Nearly ten million people across Europe suffer today from dementia, with Alzheimer’s the most common form. In Ireland the figure is a staggering 44,000, and it is often called ‘The Family Disease’, as the whole family becomes involved. One of those statistics was Nessa’s own mother, who passed away last year. Because of the seriousness of this disease she is holding her seminar in association with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, to explore what needs to be done in Ireland and Europe to help sufferers and their families. But more importantly to see what needs to be done to prevent the onset of dementia.

Research into disease requires a focus on women as twice as many women as men in Europe are affected by the illness. Also the burden of care often falls on women who neglect their own health, quit jobs and risk poverty as a result of caring for an ill relative. Over the last year Nessa Childers MEP has been working on a Europe wide program on Alzheimers with a focus on prevention and research.

The 44,000 people in Ireland with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia also involves an estimated 50,000 carers who support a family member In light of our every aging population we know that the numbers of people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is set to double every twenty years. Therefore a detailed, broad and multi-agency national strategy is required to meet the needs of the current generation of those living with the disease, their carers’ and their families and to enable the State to plan properly for the future delivery of services and supports.

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