Editorial: The number of patients with dementia is increasing
In the text, the fact that the number of the patients with dementia is increasing everywhere, in Slovenia as well, is stressed. The estimated number of the patients in Slovenia is 32 000, and as many as 100 000 relatives, friends and others caring for the patient are affected by the disease. The disease lasts from 10 to 15 years, there is no cure yet, and the has enormous health, economical and social impact on society.
Absolute priority in the filed is the preparation and acceptance of the National plan for dementia which will comprehensively regulate problems associated with dementia: early diagnosis, treatment, home care with appropriate assistance, prolonged care, institutional care, and paliative care.
The role of the Slovenian Alzheimer Association Spominčica is primarily informing the public about the early symptoms, destigmatization of the disease and supporting dementia friendly environment.
Interview with Asist. Milica Gregorič Kramberger, specialits from neurology, Head of the Center for Cognitive Impairment at the University Neurological Hospital in Ljubljana: Slovenia is not prepared for dementia epidemic, about the role of the brain and healthy living, about early signs and symptoms of dementia, the importance of early diagnosis, about drugs used, especially antidementives, and the necessity to prepare and accept the national plan on dementia.
Zlata Felc, M. D., general practitioner: The care for the patients with dementia that enables them quality life
The article stresses the importance of knowledge, respect and love in the frames of the care for a dementia patients. The phases of the disease are presented and specificities of each explained.
Jana Dragar, social worker at the University Psychiatric Hospital in Ljubljana writes about heavy frustrations that carers of the patients with dementia are faced with in their lives. The problems are illustrated by the story of the author’s own mother.
Marjeta Gomboc, physiotherapist from the University Psychiatric Hospital in Ljubljana: Strength, flexibility, coordination and balance
The author stresses the importance of maintaining physical condition of the patients with dementia and describes several methods how it can be achieved and maintained.
Prof. Vojko Kavčič, psychologist and cognitive scientist: Old age is the major risk factor in the development of dementia
Although the disease affects mostly old people, it can also strike at an early age. In comparison with some other countires, Slovenia is not yet well prepared for the dementia epidemics. It is estimated that the number of the patients with the disease will double in the next 20 years. The diagnostic proceeding leading to diagnosis are not standardised, the diagnosis is still established only by specialists – psychiatrists and neurologists, waiting lists for the first check up are up to 6 months which does not meet the need and right for early diagnosis. Drugs prescried are most effective in the early steges of the disease. Relatives and carers of the patients are under great emotional, fiancial and social stress and need help and support where NGOs, one of the being Spominčica, and volunteers play an important role. In the end, the author stresses the importance of healthy life style which can prevent some of the brain damage.
Life stories presenta young couple with two small children where the father was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 42, and the a grand mother with dementia and her family.
Obituary for Prof. Aleš Kogoj, Specialist from Psychiatry at the University Psychiatrc Hospital in Ljubljana, the founder of Spominčica and one of its most active members, whose tragic death occured at the age of 52, due to a climbing accident in the Alps.
News: In 2014,Spominčica – Alzheimer Slovenia became a member of Alzheimer Disease International.