For people who have been diagnosed with dementia, accessing post-diagnosis support can be challenging, particularly when the systems meant to provide support are confusing, limited or in some areas, non-existent. The World Alzheimer Report 2022 looks at the issues surrounding post-diagnosis support, a term that refers to the variety of official and informal services and information aimed at promoting the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers.
This report explores the aspects of living with dementia following diagnosis, through 119 essays written by researchers, healthcare professionals, informal carers and people living with dementia from around the world. These expert essays are accompanied by the results of a survey carried out in May 2022, with responses from 1,669 informal carers in 68 countries, 893 professional carers in 69 countries and 365 people with dementia from 41 countries.
Some of the key issues covered in the report include:
- understanding the significance of staging dementia, the challenges and decisions occurring at each stage, and the specificities of different types of dementias.
- delving into the impact of diagnosis on people living with dementia, their carers, relatives, and communities.
- addressing the symptoms and changes commonly associated with dementia, and the pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions that can help people living with dementia and their carers.
- showcasing international and national perspectives on models of care.
- laying the groundwork for forward-thinking, principled approaches to dementia, necessary in order to move the needle forward.
The report makes the following recommendations:
- National dementia plans need to become a policy priority
- Person-centred care must become the norm
- Care should be culturally appropriate and gender inclusive
- Support for carers must be prioritised
- Care needs to be coordinated and accessible
- We must continue to challenge stigma and raise awareness – it remains a severe barrier
- Education must be improved and expanded
- Further trials of cost-effective and evidenced-based psychosocial interventions are needed
- Risk reduction must be bolstered