Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 52

the campaign. The campaign is implemented
by the Regional Centre for Health Promotion in
Rhineland-Palatinate.
One of the results of the campaign is the
formation of the Forum for Dementia, which
was founded in 2008 during the regional care
conference of the Südliche Weinstraße district
located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The
forum helps to inform the public and alleviate
fears regarding dementia. It aims at making
consultation and healthcare structures more
transparent and easily accessible for the people
concerned as well as their relatives.
The forum is a common work group of the
regional care conference and the city of Landau
in der Pfalz, which is located in Südliche
Weinstraße. The forum is based on the care
infrastructure planning of the state government
and on the dementia campaign; it is also part
of the Landes-Netz-Werk Demenz (Dementia
Network in Rhineland-Palatinate), which was
initiated by the minister-president. In 2010, the
first common meeting with the Landau
members was held.
Together
All members of the forum work in the region
in fields entrusted with the care of people
suffering from dementia. Among them are the
Regional Centre for Health Promotion in
Rhineland-Palatinate, which acts as a
supporting body, local representatives of the
district of Südliche Weinstraße and the city of
Landau, the Rhineland-Palatinate Alzheimer
Society, nursing homes for the elderly, care
support centres, the Pfalzklinikum with
hospitals for geriatric psychiatry and
neurology, and the Pfalzklinikum’s day care
centre for the elderly.
As part of the Forum for Dementia, the
preparation of a guide for the region was
particularly important. This guide raises
awareness, provides information about
dementia and delivers an overview of the
existing outpatient, day care and in-patient
P
eople living with and without dementia cohabit in a common
world, yet in daily life, sufferers feel separated. The challenge is
not to forget the up to 1.5 million people and their families in
Germany that suffer from dementia, 80,000 of which live in the
Rhineland-Palatinate state. We need to understand the people and their
condition as a natural part of society and must integrate them into public
life; this is especially necessary in view of demographic change. We will
all live much longer in the future, and therefore the number of people
suffering from dementia will inevitably rise.
Dementia cases are expected to double by 2050. For this reason, we
must ask ourselves how we can suitably organise social participation for
people with the disease, encourage support for their families, and
succeed in living in one place together.
Creating a forum
Dementia (Latin:
de
meaning ‘without’ or ‘gone’ and
mens
meaning
‘mind’) is a category of neurodegeneration acquired in later life, and it
becomes more probable with age. The term dementia is used as a
generic term for diseases characterised by the loss of brain functions,
thus presenting a mere bracket for a huge variety of different
neurodegenerative diseases. In all cases, the mental performance,
especially memory, language, orientation and judgement, is impaired.
In 2004, the Rhineland-Palatinate dementia campaign began under the
then state minister-president, Kurt Beck, and the State Ministry of Labour,
Social Affairs, Health, Family and Women, under the Menschen pflegen
(‘Caring for people’) initiative. The primary aim of the on-going campaign
is to raise public awareness of dementia. If possible, every citizen in
Rhineland-Palatinate is given the opportunity to learn more about
dementia and associate it with a disease pattern. The people concerned
and their families will not only be able to overcome their shame and
shyness, but their whole life situation shall be improved. Therefore, it is
important not only to provide information and raise public awareness but
to integrate all groups involved in caring for people with dementia into
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
52
N E U R O D E G E N E R AT I O N
Dementia – living together
With a range of activities, the Forum for Dementia in the Südliche Weinstraße
region of Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state focuses on ensuring sufferers are
part of the local community
The city of Landau and
the Südliche
Weinstraße District
take a key role in the
Forum for Dementia
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