Awards in 2017 - "Bis zuletzt selbstbestimmt leben mit Demenz"
Dementia presents our demographically changed society in Europe with particular challenges. Countless prejudices against those suffering from dementia prevent us from treating them in a normal manner. It even goes so far that dementia patients are often ostracized and stigmatized. In general, decisions about their societal inclusion, care options, services, or needs are made for them rather than by them. To maintain the quality of life for people suffering from dementia as long as possible, they need to be supported and encouraged to use the faculties they still have to the best of their abilities.
With its award titled "Bis zuletzt selbstbestimmt leben mit Demenz" (living a self-determined life with dementia through to the end), EFID hopes to highlight and praise projects throughout Europe that recognize people suffering from dementia - even in the later stages of the disease - and that respect their dignity, autonomy, and the right to self-determination in all phases of the disease.
With its leaflet titled "I am still the same person - An invitation to communicate differently about Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses," the EFID called for an approach to treating people suffering from dementia with more care and respect. In 2012 and 2014, the "Living well with Dementia in the Community" award was presented throughout Europe. This contributed to the destigmatization of the disease and to the improvement of how it is perceived in society. The commitment of communities and society has thus been strengthened and the inclusion in society of those affected has been given renewed emphasis.
The EFID tasked the Mental Health Foundation, a British nongovernmental organization, with the mapping of dementia-friendly communities across Europe. This resulted in useful information and guidance, and shows how sustainable, integrative, and supportive environments for people suffering from dementia and their caregivers can be successfully established. The report and its accompanying case studies, which highlight the many different aspects of dementia-friendly communities in Europe, can be found on the EFID website (www.efid.info) in English. A German summary of the study’s results is also available for download.