German government adopts a national dementia strategy

1 July 2020 – It was today announced by the German Government that a national dementia strategy had been officially adopted. The strategy was developed by the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, the German Alzheimer Society or Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft (DAlzG) and the Federal Ministry of Health, among other stakeholders from states and municipalities, healthcare associations and the scientific community. The plan is the 32nd to be adopted globally and will be implemented from September.

The Nationale Demenzstrategie will be a crucial support for the German population affected by dementia now and in the future. Around 1.6 million people are currently living with dementia in Germany, according to Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft (DAlzG).

An important focus of the plan is diversity among people who are affected by or living with dementia, with specific provisions for those who are living alone with dementia, younger people living with dementia and those from migrant backgrounds.

ADI’s Chief Executive Paola Barbarino said: “I applaud the German Government and all stakeholders for their commitment in developing a national strategic response to dementia in Germany. It is both encouraging and heartening to see steadfast commitment to pushing on with this plan, during this global coronavirus pandemic. It is vital that a national policy exists to support people living with dementia and their carers and that healthcare systems are prepared – a message that is even more important during these disruptive and uncertain times.”

Sabine Jansen, Executive Director of Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft (DAlzG) said: We are happy that a National Dementia Strategy was also adopted in Germany last week. 1.6 million people with dementia live in Germany and also their families are affected by the disease. So, we need the combined efforts of all stakeholders in the field working together to improve the situation for them.”

National dementia plans remain the single most powerful tool to transform dementia care and support people living with dementia and their carers. The adoption of a Global plan on dementia by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2017 targets 146 of the 194 Member States to develop a national response to dementia by 2025.

However, our latest From Plan to Impact report has shown that progress towards this target is falling behind. While the report outlines some of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented towards the Global action plan, there are also opportunities for growth. The launch of the German strategy provides a source of inspiration to other countries developing national policies on dementia.

Where next?