September 21, 2023 – September is dedicated to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s in Croatia affects about 70,000 people. Their problems with memory loss and personality changes will be the focus of World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21.
As Index writes, Croatia still does not have a registry of patients, but estimates say there are about 100,000 people with some kind of dementia. Seventy percent of them have Alzheimer’s disease, said Ninoslav Mimica, head of the Vrapče Psychiatry Clinic on World Alzheimer’s Day.
Alzheimer’s disease the most common cause of dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is becoming a growing public health challenge associated with the global aging of the population.
In the world, as many as 60 million people live with dementia. In 2012, the World Health Organization declared it a public health priority and recommended that member countries devise a national strategy or action plan to fight dementia. So far, more than 40 countries have done so.
Mimica says that Croatia should also receive an Action Plan for caring for people with dementia and their caregivers next year.
He also points out that Alzheimer’s disease is still incurable, but the so-called antidementia drugs can slow its progression and delay the onset of the most difficult phases. In addition to benefiting the patients, medicine can also indirectly help caregivers, as people with dementia remain independent for longer.
Forget-me-Not a Symbol for Alzheimer’s in Croatia
In Croatia, three types of antidementia drugs are available on the supplementary list of the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance.
In addition to antidementia, patients are given other drugs, depending on their clinical image and symptoms (against insomnia, restlessness, hallucinations, and mood stabilizers). Non-pharmacological methods are also important, e.g., cognitive training, occupational therapy, art therapy, and dance therapy.
This year’s commemoration of World Alzheimer’s Day in the Vrapče Psychiatry Clinic will be dedicated to non-pharmacological treatment methods.
There will be an installation of more than a thousand crocheted scorpion grasses. Also known as forget-me-not, the flower symbolizes people who have Alzheimer’s disease. The scorpion grasses meadow aims to draw attention to the fact that knitting and crocheting can reduce stress in patients, relax, occupy and soothe them, but also stimulate their motor skills and cognition.