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Care Needed

Improving the Lives of People with Dementia

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Across the OECD, nearly 19 million people are living with dementia. Millions of family members and friends provide care and support to loved ones with dementia throughout their lives. Globally, dementia costs over USD 1 trillion per year and represents one of the leading causes of disability for elderly adults. These numbers will continue to rise as populations age. Until a cure or disease-modifying treatment for dementia is developed, the progress of the disease cannot be stopped. This report presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive cross-country assessment of the state of dementia care in OECD countries. In recent years, OECD countries have enhanced their efforts to provide high-quality dementia care during diagnosis, early and advanced dementia, but improving measurement is necessary for enhancements in care quality and outcomes for people with dementia. The report advises a set of policies that can help countries to improve diagnosis, strengthen access to care services, improve the quality of care, and support the families and carers of people living with dementia. Measuring and comparing the services that are delivered to people with dementia and the outcomes they achieve is a crucial part of improving dementia care. Most health systems have very poor data on dementia care and  countries should work to strengthen the measurement of quality and outcomes of dementia care.

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Helping people with dementia live well in the community

This chapter reviews how countries are enabling people with dementia to live in their communities independently. It assesses what countries are doing to improve co-ordination and access to care and services following a diagnosis, what they have done to make their communities more dementia-friendly, and how informal carers of people with dementia are supported in their role. While there is a growing body of good practice for community-based care, care co-ordination, dementia-friendly initiatives and support for informal carers must be better developed and more regularly measured to further progress.

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