Junior health minister Martin van Rijn on Wednesday called for a more ‘dementia-friendly’ society.
He wants more recognition of the symptoms so that family and friends, shop workers and bus drivers can offer help when needed.
‘You see that a lot of suffering is avoided when dementia is recognised earlier,’ he told broadcaster Nos when announcing a campaign to increase understanding of the disease.
Around 260,000 people are currently suffering from the disease and 35,000 die every year from its effects. Expectations are for the number of sufferers to increase to 400,000 by 2050.
Van Rijn said he wants ‘good quality care homes for dementia patients and a dementia-friendly society’.
Two years ago, the government set up the the Dementia Delta Plan – a reference to the massive flood prevention scheme introduced after the 1953 disaster. Its total budget was set at €200m over eight years, half of which would come from private sources.
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