Recently, "Shanghai Practice Seminar on Building Dementia-Friendly Communities" was held at the headquarters of the Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in Zhang Jiang, Shanghai. The seminar was initiated by Professor Sun Fei from the School of Social Work at Michigan State University (US). Moreover, the seminar was organized by Green Valley.
This Shanghai Forum was a prelude to the upcoming Global Conference on the Building of Dementia-Friendly Communities to be held in Chicago on July 26th (click on “Read more” to get more relevant information). The event will be aimed at gathering government institutions, industry associations, social organizations, enterprises, colleges, and universities that focus on the establishment of dementia-friendly communities, sharing and reflecting on hands-on experiences, promoting research and cooperation with partners, and harnessing Shanghai's strengths to help the WHO (World Health Organization) in its efforts to develop global tool kits for establishing dementia-friendly communities.
Alzheimer' s Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease. AD causes approximately 60% of cognitive impairment cases. According to the statistics from Alzheimer's Disease International, there are currently about 48 million people with Alzheimer's disease worldwide. This figure represents as many as 9.2 million Alzheimer's disease patients in China. Every three seconds someone in China is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease not only makes patients bewildered and downright scared, but it also places huge caregiver and financial burdens on the patients' families and society. AD puts the families of patients under unimaginable physiological and mental pressure. This pressure often causes considerable physical and mental harm to these patients and their families.
In the face of severe social challenges brought by Alzheimer's disease, increasingly powerful voices have called for the construction of dementia-friendly communities. “Building dementia-friendly communities” has been listed as one of the seven action areas mentioned in the WHO global action plan on the public health response to Alzheimer's disease.
Lv Songtao, president of Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., pointed out at the seminar that the prevention and control of Alzheimer's disease require multilateral collaboration. All sectors of society need to join hands and pool their wisdom and efforts to literally bring good news to patients. Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is committed to providing Alzheimer's patients with comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and health plans. We look forward to building dementia-friendly communities by collaborating with multiple partners and leveraging our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Sun Fei from the School of Social Work at Michigan State University (US), mentioned in a summary that the topic of "jointly constructing dementia-friendly communities" can be accomplished by pooling resources from different industries and fields. It is hoped that the event will mobilize all sectors of society, raise public awareness of cognitive impairment, and help promote the all-around development of health care services, social services, policy security, environment security, and caregiver service system for elderly people with cognitive impairment. Shanghai has been a pioneer in the co-establishment of dementia-friendly communities, so other cities facing the same aging issues may learn from its experience. Shanghai has the necessary measures in place at the moment. Further improvement could be explored by involving patients with cognitive impairment and offering policy support for caregivers.
Representatives from the Shanghai Municipal Committee on Aging, Shanghai Research Center on Aging, Shanghai Mental Health Center, the University of Hawaii, Fudan University, Tianjin Normal University, Shanghai Jinmei Elderly Service Center, Shanghai Xintu Health Promotion Center, the Jian Ai Charity, and other organizations participated in the event. Here, in-depth discussions were held on the potential needs of patients and caregivers, current obstacles to building dementia-friendly communities, and relevant suggestions.