Memory Mondays: Dementia Care Across the Globe

There’s been a greater prevalence of and push for dementia care across the globe in recent years. This is especially true as there’s an estimated 5.5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in America alone and almost 50 million worldwide, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. However, dementia care varies country by country, and each nation’s preparation for an increasing population with cognitive impairment differs, as well.

A Place for Mom recently compiled an overview of different country’s approaches to dementia care across the globe. Here, we take a quick look at some of the examples provided.

Dementia Care – UK

In the United Kingdom, a government-funded national initiative deemed Dementia Friends seeks to inform the public about what life is like with dementia. The goal is to boost general awareness and change how the nation thinks, acts and talks when it comes to dementia.

Dementia Care – China

Once hospitals were recognized as unsuitable locations for proper dementia care, a building boom of memory care communities resulted, according to a New York Times article. In Shanghai alone, around 5,000 additional memory care beds will be needed each year to meet demand.

Dementia Care – Netherlands

The Netherlands has proven itself about as innovative as they come in terms of dementia care across the globe. In fact, one of the most popular and widely known dementia care communities is located outside of Amsterdam. Hogeway allows residents to reside in a true village setting and continue doing what they love – cooking, shopping, getting a haircut – all in a safe space. And in an effort to make things feel even more real and normal for residents, caregivers dress as gardeners, shop assistants and other vital roles in the village. It has sparked similar dementia care designs elsewhere in the world.

Dementia Care – Japan

Learning therapy is a dementia therapy concept created in Japan. The therapy is simple – arithmetic problems and reading books and stories aloud – but early evidence suggests learning therapy can improve quality of life and slow down cognitive decline.

Dementia Care – Australia

In Australia, the federal government is primarily responsible for planning and funding long-term care, according to a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging report. In most countries, including the United States, government contribution to long-term care for Alzheimer’s is much more limited.

Dementia Care – United States

On the home front, dementia care aims to improve quality of life. This may involve light therapy, music therapy and other innovative techniques, and the U.S. also emphasizes person-centered care. Often, this means accommodating each memory care resident’s unique needs.