More than 14,500 people in Finland are diagnosed with a dementing disease yearly. This figure includes estimates of the number of people over-65-year-olds and the working-age population who suffer from progressive memory disorders. Approximately 200,000 persons have some form of memory disorder.
Ageing Policy and follow-up
The Finnish ageing policy promotes older people’s functional capacity, independent and active life, and living at home. The focus of the Government Programme is promoting health and well-being, and the memory disorders are recognized as equal to other chronic diseases.
Municipal authorities are responsible for organizing and monitoring social and health care services, and implementing policies.
The Status of Older People Services –survey follows up the implementation of the Act on Supporting the Functional Capacity of the Older Population and on Social and Health Services for Older Persons, National Age Strategy, Quality Recommendations, and Memory Programme. The survey is conducted every two years by Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
Responses of the authorities of older people services in municipalities (n=175) showed that the development of the service trend has been positive. In 2018, the authorities in nearly all municipalities regarded that there was adequate expertise to treat people with memory problems (99 %), to prevent memory problems and promote brain health (91 %), and municipalities had trained memory coordinators and/or memory specialists (98 %).
Systematical identification of the elevated risk of memory problems was part of regular health checks (in 78 % of the municipalities), home visits (76 %), service coordination (64 %) and/or guidance (54 %). Moreover, early intervention took place during visits to these services.
Another measure to follow up the services and support to people with memory problems and their carers is the Memory Barometer. It is reported every five years by the Alzheimer’s Society of Finland.