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[IWS] OECD: ADDRESSING DEMENTIA: THE OECD RESPONSE [13 March 2015]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
NOTE: Funding for this service ends on 31 March 2015. Postings will end on this date as well.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
ADDRESSING DEMENTIA: THE OECD RESPONSE [13 March 2015]
[read online, 126 pages]
The large and growing human and financial cost of dementia provides an imperative for policy action. It is already the second largest cause of disability for the over-70s and it costs $645bn per year globally, and ageing populations mean that these costs will grow.
There is no cure or effective treatment for dementia, and too often people do not get appropriate health and care services, leading to a poor quality of life. Our failure to tackle these issues provides a compelling illustration of some of today’s most pressing policy challenges. We need to rethink our research an innovation model, since progress on dementia has stalled and investment is just a fraction of what it is for other diseases of similar importance and profile. But even then a cure will be decades away, so we need better policies to improve the lives of people living with dementia now. Communities need to adjust to become more accommodating of people with dementia and families who provide informal care must be better supported. Formal care services and care institutions need to promote dignity and independence, while coordination of health and care services must be improved. But there is hope: if we can harness big data we may be able to address the gaps in our knowledge around treatment and care.
Press Release 13 March 2015
Better dementia care and a future cure require action today, says OECD
13/03/2015 - The current policy approach to tackling dementia is socially and economically unsustainable, according to a new OECD report. Countries need to take action now to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers, prioritise public research on dementia, and improve the incentives for private investment in dementia innovation.
says that the human and financial costs of this incurable disease are huge. Nearly 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide, costing societies over half a trillion US dollars each year, roughly equal to the GDP of Switzerland.
With people living longer, more people are becoming dependent on others for support in living with dementia. But a family carer or a friend looking after a person with dementia is 20% more likely to have mental health problems and more likely to be out of work. Counselling, respite care and flexible work arrangements needs to be strengthened. Low pay, poor working conditions and the poor image of long-term care work must be tackled if professional care is to improve.
Progress in developing a cure for dementia has stalled as the complexity of dementia means that the risk of failure is too high and the rewards for success uncertain, says the report.
More and better basic research to improve understanding of the disease, together with stronger collaboration and a suitably adapted regulatory process, can reduce the risks and increase private sector investment. Increased public funding, including a global research fund, and public-private shared funding mechanisms can also leverage more investment.
There are major opportunities in sharing research data on dementia and in strengthening cooperation across existing data resources, but there needs to be a major shift in the research culture and incentives for collaboration. The OECD is making progress in bringing together key global players in dementia research, helping advance understanding of the causes of dementia.
The OECD also recommends that countries:
· continue to prioritise timely diagnosis;
· implement models of care that promote greater control and social interaction;
· improve access to palliative care outside of hospital, so that more people with dementia can die with dignity in a place of their choosing;
· address the important ethical questions surrounding the involvement of people with pre-symptomatic dementia in clinical trials; and
· establish new models of consent that address privacy concerns.
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