Towards a national dementia preventative health strategy

This paper sets out the case for the establishment of a National Dementia Preventative Health Strategy. With the prevalence of dementia projected to reach around one million by 2050 and the cost of dementia care set to outstrip any other health condition, it is timely that dementia takes its place in national preventative health planning.

It is proposed that the framework for a National Dementia Preventative Health Strategy should be guided by eight principles that are in accord with the national Chronic Disease Strategy, namely:

* Adopt a population health approach to dementia

* Invest in research to investigate prevention, early intervention and treatment of dementia

* Implement dementia risk reduction strategies

* Build community capacity to optimise self-management of risk factors

* Provide effective care

* Facilitate integrated multi-disciplinary care across services, settings and sectors

* Achieve significant and sustainable change

* Monitor progress.

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