Alzheimer’s, a widespread network in Veneto

A symposium on present and future. Lanzarin: encouraging prevention. Here are the 7 magnificent recommendations

In 2022, in Veneto, there will be 65,746 people suffering from dementia who turned to health and social services, a figure considered underestimated by experts. Of these, 68% are female and 98% are over 65 years old. This extremely concise framework was the backdrop to the symposium “Change Management of neurocognitive disorders, new horizons in prevention” during which experts and operators from the Veneto healthcare system discussed the state of the art of this disease and the prospects of prevention and treatment, in front of the Regional Councilor for Health Manuela Lanzarin, on the occasion of international Alzheimer’s week. “Neurocognitive Disorder represents a global public health priority, as it is a priority on our regional agenda – underlined Lanzarin who opened the conference – in recent years the Global Action Plan on the public health response to dementia (2017-2025) has highlighted the need to implement national and regional plans that include specific preventive strategies. This regional event is linked to World Alzheimer’s Day, and this year highlights the importance of prevention in the approach to Neurocognitive Disorder. On the topic of prevention, at a regional level, many innovative projects have been developed in recent years which focus on both physical activity and the correct stimulation of cognitive functions – concludes Lanzarin – technology, art, reading, physical exercise are the paths to be favoured, taking into account, and on this the Region is implementing interesting initiatives that involve not only the family context, but also the community in a proactive and inclusive context”.

“Over the years, in Veneto, we have created a vast and efficient network of assistance and care for patients with Alzheimer’s and neurocognitive disorders _ added Lanzarin – but now we are also turning our attention to prevention, thanks to which it is possible to arrive at an early diagnosis, slow down the course of the disease, and define better management pathways”.

The seven recommendations to prevent dementia are somehow connected to the correct lifestyles indicated in the Prevention Plan of the Veneto Region: doing physical activity, not smoking or quitting, following a Mediterranean diet, reducing alcohol, checking one’s overall state of health, maintaining optimal body weight, develop rich mental activity.

“It is impressive – states the Region – in any case the activity carried out in the area by the socio-health organization of the Veneto Region. In the Veneto Region there are 37 CDCDs active, specialist reference centers for the diagnosis and treatment of people with NCD which are divided into 58 clinics widely distributed throughout the regional territory, of which 43 are hospital ones belonging to the Geriatrics (18) and Neurology (17) units. ) and 15 local ones relating to Primary Care, 7 Integrated and 1 relating to the Psychiatry Unit. The Regional Center for the study and treatment of brain aging (CRIC) represents the second level center for the most complex diagnoses and where rehabilitation therapy is offered.

The patient with neurocognitive disorder can access various services appropriate to the various stages of the disease.

152 relief centers dedicated to people in mild and moderate stages of illness, welcome 1470 users, 63 with cognitive disorders with young onset, supporting 1400 caregivers. The centers are also supported thanks to the support of volunteers and the involvement of 229 Municipalities in integration with the AULSS.

As regards residential accommodation, of the 42 thousand residents of the RSAs, 50% have a codified diagnosis of dementia, but 76% present a cognitive decline at the entrance cognitive assessment. 83% are over 75 years old, 97% of guests have a compromised functional status, therefore they are dependent in everyday life.

There are 200 Relief Projects now active in the area, of which 180 are dedicated to people with dementia and 20 to Parkinson’s patients. Users with dementia in Service Centers for Dependent Persons are 44%, a percentage which rises to 54% in Day Centres.

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