Most people with dementia receive no treatment after diagnosis: report

A new report finds that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia professionals are urgently calling for better treatment for patients and better education for health professionals, and that the majority of people with dementia have little or no post-diagnosis care. Or you have made it clear that you have not received it at all.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) states in its annual World Alzheimer’s Report press release that up to 85% of people with dementia worldwide may not receive treatment for their dementia after diagnosis.

“We don’t care if people with cancer need treatment or not. So why is it that people with a diagnosis of dementia often don’t get treatment or care?” CEO of ADI One Paola Barbarino said in the release:

“Coupled with increasing diagnostic rates, post-diagnostic dementia care must be recognized as a human right.”

The 416-page report brings together dozens of essays by professionals, caregivers, and patients to shed light on many aspects of dementia, from early signs to diagnosis, treatment, and living with dementia. I’m here.

But a key takeaway from this year’s World Alzheimer’s Disease Report 2022 is that post-diagnosis care needs to be significantly improved.

About 55 million people worldwide have dementia, more than 500,000 in Canada alone. Dementia usually affects older people and varies in severity. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and he one of the most severe types.

Serge Gautier, a professor at McGill University and co-leader of the report, describes dementia as “a combination of cognitive decline, usually memory.

“However, it can make directions and directions difficult to understand for cars and ultimately affect daily life in the home, making it impossible to live safely alone,” he told by phone. said in an interview.

Treatment of patients diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease depends on the severity of the dementia and the underlying causes, but includes various interventions to improve the patient’s quality of life. This means home caregivers, access to health care, adaptation to a person’s home to enable them to remain there for as long as possible, treatment, support for daily activities, and pharmacological treatment. increase.

However, the report found that many people do not receive this care.

“When people are diagnosed with dementia, most of them aren’t told what to do next other than ‘solve your problem and good luck,'” Gauthier said.

“Even if there is no cure, people with dementia need to be cared for. There are many appropriate treatments and management, so people with dementia can live well for many years after diagnosis.” can do.”

One of the essays in the report is written by Roger Marple, a Canadian with dementia. In his release, he said it would be harmful to see a dementia diagnosis as the end of the road.

“After the diagnosis, ‘Why do we have to do something about dementia care? They[people with dementia]are going to die anyway,'” he said. increase.”

Experts stress that dementia is more than just “getting old”.

While some decline in memory and physical performance is expected with aging, experts say the impact of dementia goes far beyond that.

However, many healthcare providers are still unaware of this. Her 2019 ADI Report survey found that 62% of her 70,000 respondents in 155 countries believe dementia is a normal part of aging.

This belief is part of a broader issue about access to care, which “reinforces the lack of support offered to people with dementia,” Barbarino said.

“The other part is that health systems around the world are ill-prepared for the growing public health crisis that dementia poses, and governments must act.”

In addition to expert and patient essays, the report includes data from three surveys aimed at creating a snapshot of post-diagnostic dementia care, or lack thereof.

The survey will be conducted between May and June 2022 and will include 365 people with dementia, 1,669 informal caregivers and 893 professional caregivers in 41 countries across 68 and 69 countries, respectively. was carried out.

Nearly 60% of surveyed health professionals say they feel they don’t have enough time to provide care to people with dementia.

More than a third of them say they feel stressed or pressured at work, and a further quarter say this affects their performance.

From the death toll from COVID-19 to the burnout and emotional stress that are pushing many other health care workers out of the workforce, the pandemic’s impact on the healthcare system will only exacerbate existing problems. experts say.

Even before the arrival of COVID-19, there were not enough clinicians understanding dementia treatments, indicating a need for education.

“Globally, clinicians are under-educated about dementia and lack the resources to provide appropriate post-diagnostic care to people with dementia,” said Barbarino. “It is now up to governments to strengthen health systems so that health professionals can provide the quality care that people with dementia desperately need.”

Aside from better education, one of the report’s main proposals is for governments to commit to funding to enable new roles for health workers. Diagnosed with dementia and connected to resources and support.

“Clear access to health resources, care, information, advice, support and, importantly, adaptation and adjustment to life can greatly improve the quality of life for people living with dementia,” Barbarino said. I’m here. “Enabling these navigators to act as a single point of contact for people with dementia could be key to navigating this incredibly complex journey.”

Most people with dementia receive no treatment after diagnosis: report

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