News Release

Bupa and Alzheimer’s Disease International call for countries to improve dementia care and support worldwide

18 April 2013

First global Charter of its kind launched; call for more governments to develop National Dementia Plans to make Charter a reality

International healthcare company Bupa, and global dementia federation Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), today launch a joint Global Dementia Charter, ‘I can live well with dementia’ that, for the first time, outlines the rights that people living with dementia around the world should be able to expect to allow them to live well.

Bupa and ADI are calling for governments to develop National Dementia Plans to make dementia a national public health priority and ensure the 10 point Charter becomes a reality.  Currently only nine countries – UK, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, South Korea, USA, Norway and the Netherlands – have a national dementia plan.

The joint 10 point Charter – prepared by Bupa, the largest international provider of specialist dementia care, and ADI, which represents more than 75 Alzheimer associations around the world – has been written from the perspective of someone living with dementia and can be used as a benchmark against which national dementia care and support can be judged.

The Charter outlines what should happen at each stage of the dementia journey, from an individual having the right to a diagnosis in order to help them plan for the years ahead when their needs will change, right through to families having adequate support when a loved one passes away.

The Charter is supported by ‘enablers’, a list of actions and accountabilities that outlines what families, friends, carers, healthcare professionals, commissioners or purchasers of care, healthcare providers, society and governments can do to improve dementia care and support in their country, alongside the development of a national plan.

Stuart Fletcher, CEO, Bupa, said:

“An ageing population around the world means that improving dementia care and support is one of our generation’s greatest healthcare challenges – a challenge we must tackle.  With the ADI, we intend to help countries to make dementia care and support a public health priority to improve the lives of millions of people living with the condition, and see greater support provided to their family and friends.”

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International, said:

“For the first time, our Charter articulates what people living with dementia around the world should be able to expect.  With Bupa, we’re calling for governments and policy makers to develop National Dementia Plans, which we know is the single most impactful mechanism to shape national dementia care for a generation.”

Professor Graham Stokes, Director of Dementia Care, Bupa, said:

“People with dementia sometimes feel alone and ignored because the condition is widely misunderstood and people are often nervous to talk about it.  But in the same way that someone with cancer is able to be involved in decisions about their care, someone with dementia should be too.  Our Charter champions best practice at each stage of the condition to ensure the person has a good quality of life and loved ones around them are properly supported.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors

Case studies

10 people living with dementia from around the world have endorsed each point of the Charter.  Their endorsements can be found at www.bupa.com/dementia.

About dementia around the world

  • According to the World Health Organization (‘Dementia: a public health priority’ report, published 2012):
    • the total number of people with dementia worldwide in 2010 was estimated at 35.6 million and is projected to nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
    • the total number of new cases of dementia each year worldwide is nearly 7.7 million, implying one new case every four seconds.
    • the total estimated worldwide costs of dementia were US$604 billion in 2010.

About National Dementia Plans

  • The WHO and ADI in a landmark report published in 2012 recommends all countries develop a national dementia plan.  There are nine national dementia strategies in the world today – UK, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, South Korea, USA, Norway and the Netherlands.  There are also a number of non-government national plans, for example in Ireland, Canada, India and New Zealand.

About Bupa

  • Bupa’s purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives.  
  • A leading international healthcare group, Bupa offers personal and company-financed health insurance, runs hospitals, and provides workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and chronic disease management services.  Bupa is also a major international provider of nursing and residential care for elderly people.
  • With no shareholders, Bupa invests its profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil its purpose.
  • Bupa employs more than 54,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, China and across Latin America.
About Bupa’s social care services around the world
  • Bupa cares for more than 30,000 people in more than 460 care homes and retirement villages in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Bupa is the largest international provider of specialist dementia care, caring for more than 19,000 residents with dementia.
  • In the UK, Bupa Care Services looks after more than  17,900 residents in almost 300 care homes.
  • In Australia, Bupa Care Services Australia currently operates 60 care homes caring for more than 5,100 residents.
  • In New Zealand, Bupa Care Services New Zealand cares for more than 3,800 people in 47 homes, 20 retirement villages and seven rehabilitation sites and also provides telecare services via a personal alarm network.
  • In Spain, Bupa (Sanitas Residencial) cares for around 4,000 residents in 40 care homes.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com

About Alzheimer’s Disease International

  • ADI is the international federation of more than 75 Alzheimer associations around the world.
  • It is in official relations with the World Health Organization and has consultative status with the United Nations.
  • ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world.
  • ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease International: The International Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Societies, Inc. is incorporated in Illinois, USA, and is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk

Q&A

What is the Charter?

  • A list of 10 points that outlines the rights that people living with dementia around the world should be able to expect to allow them to live well.
  • It’s been written from the perspective of someone living with dementia, which makes it the first of its kind.
  • It has been written for, and endorsed by, people living with the condition. 

What are the ‘enablers’?

  • A list of actions and accountabilities that outlines what families, friends, carers, healthcare professionals, commissioners or purchasers of care, healthcare providers, society and governments can do to improve dementia care and support in their country.
  • Everyone, everywhere, can and must do their bit.

Why have you developed it?

  • We believe that dementia must become a national and international public health priority so that countries have adequate care and support systems in place to look after people living with the condition now, and in the future.
  • We wanted to prepare a benchmark against which countries’ health and care systems can be judged – that’s what this Charter will help us do.
  • People living with dementia can still have a good quality of life at most stages of the condition if the right care and support is in place – our Charter outlines the core fundamentals of high quality dementia care and support. 
  • We also developed supporting ‘enablers’, a list of actions and accountabilities that outline how each point in the Charter can be achieved.

What are you calling for?

  • We’re calling for governments around the world to develop National Dementia Plans to make dementia a national public health priority and support the 10 point Charter to become a reality. 
  • Currently only 9 countries – UK, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, South Korea, USA, Norway and the Netherlands – have a national plan.
  • A National Dementia Plan is the single most impactful mechanism to shape national dementia care for a generation.
  • We’re committed to helping shape global dementia care and helping people living with dementia to lead happier lives, for as long as they can. That is our vision. That is our purpose.

How does a national dementia plan improve dementia care?

  • As part of the process of developing a national plan, governments examine the availability, accessibility and quality of dementia care and support in their country. 
  • Policies are then developed, and together make up a National Dementia Plan, to improve national care and support for people living with dementia.
  • The World Health Organization and ADI, in a landmark report published last year, recommended all countries develop a national plan.

Why should dementia be a public health priority?

  • An ageing population around the world means that improving dementia care and support is one of our generation’s greatest healthcare challenges.
  • According to ADI, and acknowledged by the World Health Organization, the total number of people with dementia worldwide in 2010 was estimated at 35.6 million – this is projected to nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
  • The total number of new cases of dementia each year worldwide is nearly 7.7 million, implying one new case every four seconds.
  • Countries’ healthcare systems need to provide adequate care and support for people living with dementia, and their families and friends.