News Release

Chilean government adopts national plan on dementia

08 November 2017

The plan is the 8th national response to dementia to be adopted in the Americas and contains key targets for improving care, support and research.  

  • Every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia
  • Alzheimer associations and people with dementia are key to developing plans
  • More governments must develop a national response

Santiago, 08 November 2017 – The government of Chile has adopted a national plan on dementia following active consultation with Corporación Alzheimer Chile and ADI. The plan is the 30th to be adopted worldwide, and includes key targets for improving the awareness of, access to care, support and treatment, research and risk reduction of dementia by 2025.

It is estimated that 180,000 people are living with dementia in Chile, resulting in a cost of care per person of almost USD $11,000 every year. The number of people living with dementia in the Andean countries is expected to triple by 2050.

National dementia plans remain the single most powerful tool to transform dementia care and support people living with dementia and their care partners. The adoption of a global plan on dementia by the World Health Organization in May 2017 urges 146 countries to develop a national response on dementia by 2025.

In 2015, the government of Chile committed to the prioritisation of dementia following the publication of the first regional plan on dementia by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). The plan adopted in November is one of less than half of plans globally to be allocated dedicated funding for its effective implementation, of USD $5.5m a year. It follows examples of existing plans in Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and the USA.

ADI recommends that plans are developed in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders including people with dementia and their care partners. The development of the plan in Chile sets an excellent example for others – anyone could participate in the development of the draft online and this informed a uniquely powerful plan. 

Key sections of the plan include:

  • Prevention and timely diagnosis
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment
  • Better coordination of care and care programs
  • Monitoring and updating of the plan
  • Awareness and education of the community
  • Training of health and social actor
  • Promotion of research and innovation
  • Update of the ethical and legal context of dementia

Patricio Espinola, President of Corporación Alzheimer Chile, said, "My perception is that there is a before and after the launch of the Plan. There is optimism and motivational synergy between the medical and scientific community and family and caregivers, because we feel that after much helplessness things are happily changing."

Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International welcomed the adoption of the plan, noting the positive inclusion of the rights of people with dementia, and promotion of the dignity, inclusion and quality of life of those affected. She said, The plan shows great vision and promise. I wish the Chilean government a successful roll out and implementation and a continuing positive relation with civil society organisations including Corporación Alzheimer Chile, a member of ADI.”

Dementia will become a trillion-dollar disease in 2018 and is the only major chronic disease area that does not have a cure or effective treatment.



More information on national plans, including a list of existing plans and plans in development can be found at

For more information, please contact:

James Smith
Communications and Policy Officer
Alzheimer’s Disease International
T: +44 (0) 20 79810880

Available for interview

  • Paola Barbarino, CEO, Alzheimer’s Disease International
  • Joost Martens, Regional Director, Americas, Alzheimer’s Disease International
  • Patricio Espinola, President, Corporación Alzheimer Chile

Global Plan on Dementia

The Global Plan of Action on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025 was adopted by 194 countries of the WHO during the 70th session of the World Health Assembly in May 2017. Find out more about the Global plan, including answers to common questions at:

About Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)

ADI is the international federation of 90 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is prevention, care and inclusion today, and cure tomorrow. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. ADI works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for persons with dementia and their care partners, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change. 

About Corporación Alzheimer Chile

Alzheimer Chile Corporación is a non-profit institution, created to help the families of people with Alzheimer's disease and similar conditions to improve their quality of life. Founded in 1990 by a group of relatives, Alzheimer Chile Corporación was officially recognized by the Ministry of Justice and granted legal personality No. 253, on February 17, 1992. Their mission is: To provide quality comprehensive care to people affected with Alzheimer's disease and similar illnesses, patients, relatives and / or caregivers. Alzheimer Chile Corporation is an official member of ADI, a founding member of Alzheimer Iberoamerica (AIB) and Corporation, Coordinator of Organizations of Family Users and Friends of People with Mental Health Conditions (CORFAUSAM). For more information, please visit