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UNECE Policy Seminar on Ageing

UNECE Policy Seminar on Ageing

20 November 2019
Geneva Switzerland

Informal care for persons with dementia

Wednesday 20 November 2019, 9:30 - 17:00 | Room V | Palais des Nations, Geneva

The informal care and support provided by families, friends and neighbours is a central pillar in enabling older persons to age with dignity. In the face of changing family structures, enhanced mobility and longer working lives, the societal capacity to provide informal care comes under increased pressure. At the same, time parallel developments such as growing longevity and the emphasis on ageing in place increase the need for home- and community-based care. The growing prevalence of dementia represents a particularly challenging situation for affected families.

The focus of the policy seminar was placed on the types of support that family carers of people affected by dementia need. The Lisbon Ministerial Declaration adopted by UNECE member States in 2017 underlines the importance of “promoting the participation of both persons with dementia (…) and their informal carers in social and community life, and [of] ensuring integrated care on a local basis with treatment, care, and support after diagnosis as needed, especially through community-based services”. A number of countries in the region have recognized and addressed this policy challenge by developing national dementia strategies and support measures for affected families. The policy seminar provided a dedicated space for in-depth discussion, experience exchange and peer learning in this important policy area.

A unique opportunity for participants this year was to learn about informal care policy in Switzerland, the dementia action plan and support measures by the canton and city of Geneva, through two site visits in the afternoon.

Concept Note and Programme

The challenging roles of informal carers - UNECE Policy Brief on Ageing No. 22

List of participants




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The growing prevalence of dementia in the UNECE region and the international policy response
Dr. Tarun Dua, WHO
What are the challenges experienced by informal carers of persons with dementia
Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director, Eurocarers
Provision of adequate formal care services and their integration with informal care
Erika Winkler, Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Austria
Local Alliances for people with dementia in Germany
Dr. Anneli Rüling, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
Dementia Activity Centres in Malta
Cynthia Formosa, Active Ageing and Community Care Department
Self and mutual help groups of informal carers of persons with dementia in Ukraine
Galina Poliakova, Turbota pro Litnih v Ukraini" (Age-Concern-Ukraine)
Geneva School of Social Work - HETS
Joëlle Libois, Head of the school
Geneva action plan for dementia 2016-2019
Geneva action plan for informal caregivers 2017-2020
Derek Christie and Thierry Monod
General Directorate of Health - Canton of Geneva
Informal care policy for people with dementia in Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Barbara Lucas
The training programme for professionals of the City of Geneva: towards an Alzheimer friendly community
Giovanni Martinelli, Coordinator prevention, Geneva Cantonal Police
Sophie Courvoisier, Director of the Geneva section of Swiss Alzheimer