Alzheimers New Zealand has launched a new framework that will see organisations within the New Zealand dementia community working together more closely, with a shared direction and towards a shared vision.
Dementia: A Strategic Framework, which was launched at a function last night in Wellington, replaces and builds upon the National Dementia Strategy 2010-2015.
The new framework challenges all organisations in the dementia community - including government, DHBs, service providers, health and social services professionals and Alzheimers NZ and its Members – to focus on a shared vision of ‘towards a world without dementia’, with five shared goals.
Alzheimers NZ Chair, Susan Hitchiner, said Dementia: A Strategic Framework is a demanding and future-focused framework for the national dementia community that provides the direction required for us to meet the challenge of dementia now and into the future.
“Dementia is one of New Zealand’s most significant and growing healthcare challenges,” Ms Hitchiner said.
“Our best estimate is that around 53,000 people in New Zealand currently have dementia, a number that our forecasts indicate will triple to around 150,000 by 2050. In addition to that, for each person with dementia there is also a wide network of family, friends and whanāu affected by the condition who need help and support.
“There is a lot to be done if we are to meet this challenge, and the solutions are both large and complex. Working together collectively as a sector is critical if we are to address this challenge and improve the lives of people affected by dementia.”
Ms Hitchiner said the development of Dementia: A Strategic Framework was a year-long process that involved consultation with organisations across the New Zealand dementia community, including service providers, health and social services professionals as well as our local Alzheimers organisations.
“The result is a challenging and aspirational framework that not only clarifies the future direction of Alzheimers New Zealand, and is also relevant for all organisations and individuals working within the sector, who are able to tailor and apply it to their own situation or area of focus.
“The strategic framework is a positive step forward for the whole dementia community in New Zealand, and for all people affected by dementia, both now and in the future.”
Click the image below to download a copy of Dementia: A Strategic Framework
Following recent news coverage of a blood test for Alzheimer's disease (findings published in the journal Nature Medicine), Alzheimers NZ has issued the following statement:
Alzheimers New Zealand says a new study indicating that a blood test could detect whether someone is at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is encouraging, but that further research is required to fully understand the implications of the study.
“We are pleased to see a continued focus on growing knowledge about dementia, particularly in the area of diagnosis and detection,” says Alzheimers NZ Executive Director Catherine Hall.
“Early diagnosis and detection of all forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease is critically important in the treatment and management of the condition, and is something that we advocate strongly for.
“Receiving a diagnosis allows people affected by dementia to access services and support from local Alzheimers organisations and gives them the opportunity to plan for their future. Diagnostic tools such as this would be very helpful in detecting dementia in its early stages, and may add to the ability to do further research into prevention of dementia.
“However it is early days for this study and further trials are required with a diverse range of people before its effectiveness can be determined.”
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