Statement on Importance of Care and Support
All persons affected by dementia – those living with
the diseases that cause it, their care partners, and their
family and friends – have a right to receive the highest
quality care and support possible to meet their needs.
They have the human right to be treated with dignity
and respect. And they are entitled to full and effective
participation and inclusion in society.
These rights transcend national boundaries and cultures.
Person-centered, high-quality care and support
should respond to the unique, individual needs of
each person and include rehabilitation and disability
It should be delivered by well-trained
individuals, whether professionals or family and friend
Such care and support can result in improved health
outcomes and quality of life, enhanced comfort, and
decreased stress for persons living with dementia.
For their care partners, it can enhance their health
and strengthen the informal support system. And, by
lessening the burden on health and long-term care
systems, it can help to lower costs.
Principles of High-Quality Care and Support
To ensure the right to high-quality care and support for people living with dementia and their care partners,
the following principles should guide the provision of care and support in all countries:
1. Individuals receive a timely and accurate diagnosis
– and are told of that diagnosis and its realistic
consequences. This is the gateway to making
informed personal life decisions and decisions about
2. People living with dementia are entitled to respect
and dignity with full recognition that dementia in
no way diminishes the personhood of the individual
who has it.
3. Communities are inclusive of people living with
dementia, thus ensuring the opportunity for
participation and engagement by those living with
dementia, and empowering and enabling them to
remain in the community as long as possible.
4. Care is person- and relationship-centered.
Person-centered care is a philosophy of care
based on knowing the person, developing and
maintaining authentic relationships, providing
a supportive, culturally-sensitive environment
that includes opportunities for meaningful
engagement, and recognizing the person’s reality
and individual needs.
5. The provision of person-centered care is based on
continuous assessment and individualized care
planning designed to maximize independence,
develop effective strategies for communication,
minimize behavioral and psychological symptoms,
and identify available support for people living with
dementia and their care partners.
6. People living with dementia and their care partners
are involved as active participants in care planning
and decision making and have access to information
and support throughout the continuum of their
disease from diagnosis to end of life.
7. Medical and care professionals have adequate
knowledge of all aspects of dementia and work
across disciplines to ensure a holistic approach to
disease management. This will ensure that people
living with dementia are provided appropriate
medical care, psychosocial care, and disability
support – for both their dementia and their
co-morbid conditions – throughout the course of
8. Care coordination and collaboration occurs
between all care providers, including medical and
allied health and social care professionals, health
systems, family care partners, paid caregivers,
community services, and volunteers. Governments,
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and
patient advocacy groups have an important role
in building collaboration among care providers
and in monitoring and evaluating the care and