Catalan Government promotes individualised, family-based approach to Alzheimer’s treatment

The Catalan Ministry of Social Care calculates a total of 80,000 diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease patients in Catalonia, a number that is expected to double in the next 10 years. The Ministry is now promoting a new attention model for Alzheimer’s patients based on individualised therapy and family collaboration.


September 14, 2010 12:02 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Ministry of Social Care is promoting a new attention model for Alzheimer’s disease patients based on individual treatment and family collaboration. The experimental model will begin on the 4th of November in day healthcare centres in Barcelona. Once the model is evaluated it will be incorporated as a guaranteed service by the year 2012.  The Catalan Minister for Social Care, Carme Capdevila, explained that not all Alzheimer’s disease patients have the same needs and for this reason we must seek out new models based on the characteristics of each patient. Moreover, the model is based on maximum coordination with families in order to further treatment in the home.

The individualised treatment will not only take into account the phase in which the Alzheimer's disease patient is in, but also their life experiences. In this sense, memory therapy workshops will not have a general framework for all patients but rather take on a specialised approach based on what each person has lived. This same concept will be applied in workshops on cognitive and sensory stimulation as well as music therapy.

The new model will also consider the adequacy of infrastructures aimed to promote self-sufficiency in patients. For example, different colours will be used to identify spaces and doors to help patients with entering and exiting.

The second aspect of the new model is centred on collaboration with families. The process begins with family member training so that families may be able to take care of Alzheimer’s patients at home using the same methods applied in the day health care centres. In order to do this, weekly meetings will take place to inform families of the patient’s treatment process. Resources will also be provided so that families can prevent against the stress and exhaustion involved with taking care of a sick person.

80,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Catalonia

There are currently 80,000 diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients in Catalonia. This number is expected to double in the next 10 years. The Catalan Minister for Social Care, Carme Capdevila, considers these figures to be “disturbing.” She stated that while the disease still does not have a cure, there are palliative measures that can be applied. In addition, she said that the important thing is to be attentive at the first signs of the disease as a precocious measure. The Ministry calculates that 70% of day health centre users have developed some type of dementia and that 8.5% have Alzheimer’s disease.