It is necessary to improve care for the elderly with dementia and their families

5 October 2015

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) highlighted the need for a new care strategy for the elderly who suffer from dementia and greater support for the families who care for them, given the prospect of an increase in this population group in the coming years .

It is estimated that between 6.5 and 8.5 percent of those over 60 years of age in the Americas suffer from some type of dementia, and it is expected that the 7.8 million patients estimated in 2010 will increase to 14 , 8 million in twenty years. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the fastest increase is expected.

With this perspective, the economic costs of caring for people with dementia are also expected to rise, much of which falls on the families who care for them.

Faced with this situation, the ministers of health of the Americas pledged to adopt new measures aimed at improving the care given to these people, preventing or delaying their functional deterioration, and intensifying research on dementia.

PAHO emphasized that the majority of people with this disease receive care at home, which influences the mortality rates not only of the elderly but also of their caregivers.

The new strategy and plan of action agreed during last week’s PAHO Directing Council meetings requires greater investments in long-term care, more research on the needs of these patients, and improved treatment and care offered to them. .

Among other actions, it advocates strengthening health services and community networks throughout the region so that older people can stay in their homes and communities.

It is also considered necessary to establish a long-term care center and train and improve professionals who care for people with dementia. In addition, laws are called for to protect the human rights of these patients and to help reduce stigma and stereotypes.

5 October 2015

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) highlighted the need for a new care strategy for the elderly who suffer from dementia and greater support for the families who care for them, given the prospect of an increase in this population group in the coming years .

It is estimated that between 6.5 and 8.5 percent of those over 60 years of age in the Americas suffer from some type of dementia, and it is expected that the 7.8 million patients estimated in 2010 will increase to 14 , 8 million in twenty years. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the fastest increase is expected.

With this perspective, the economic costs of caring for people with dementia are also expected to rise, much of which falls on the families who care for them.

Faced with this situation, the ministers of health of the Americas pledged to adopt new measures aimed at improving the care given to these people, preventing or delaying their functional deterioration, and intensifying research on dementia.

PAHO emphasized that the majority of people with this disease receive care at home, which influences the mortality rates not only of the elderly but also of their caregivers.

The new strategy and plan of action agreed during last week’s PAHO Directing Council meetings requires greater investments in long-term care, more research on the needs of these patients, and improved treatment and care offered to them. .

Among other actions, it advocates strengthening health services and community networks throughout the region so that older people can stay in their homes and communities.

It is also considered necessary to establish a long-term care center and train and improve professionals who care for people with dementia. In addition, laws are called for to protect the human rights of these patients and to help reduce stigma and stereotypes.