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Welcome to MEETINGDEM
MEETINGDEM is a European Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Diseases Research funded project (2014-2017) aimed at implementing and evaluating the innovative Meeting Centers Support Programme (MCSP) for community dwelling people with dementia and their carers in Europe. This programme, which has been developed and evaluated in the Netherlands, has been adaptively implemented in three European countries, i.e. Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom. Within each participating country a national project team of at least one research institute conducted the implementation study.
The predicted increase in the number and proportion of older people with dementia over the next 40 years highlights the need to identify ways to promote timely cost-effective post-diagnostic interventions that help people with dementia to continue to live independently in the community as long as possible. Research demonstrates that multicomponent combined support programmes for people with dementia and their carers, including information, practical, emotional and social support, attuned to the individual needs, are more effective than single support activities for patients or carers.
The Meeting Centers Support Programme offers an integrated package of care and support, including a social club were people with dementia can participate in meaningful activities and person-centered interventions, information meetings and discussion groups for carers, and individual consultations and plenary (social) centre meetings for both.
The overall aim of MEETINGDEM was to prepare, support and evaluate the dissemination and implementation of the successful Dutch MCSP for people with dementia and their carers in Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom (see the description of the research under Research).
MCSP is transferable across countries and shows improved quality of life and mental health benefits for people with dementia and carers against reasonable additional costs. Dissemination of MCSP in Europe and beyond is recommended.
Further adaptive implementation of the MCSP in the three participating European countries and beyond will have high added value for people with dementia and their carers, as combined multicomponent support is usually not offered. Thus, implementation of the MCSP, adapted to country specific conditions, has the potential to support and increase quality of life of a substantial number of patient-carer dyads.
Moreover, the MCSP, as shown in the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and the UK, improves collaboration between care and welfare organisations, professionals and volunteers. Further dissemination of MCSP will therefore counteract the present fragmented and inefficient dementia care.
The MCSP model is of high interest for policymakers as well: repeated research showed that the benefits of MCSP for people with dementia and carers are associated with lower or little additional costs (depending of the costs for usual care in a country) compared to regular day care without carer support, potentially resulting in substantial economic savings on the long term. MCSP makes it easier for people to ask for help in a timely manner, thus maximising social integration and delaying the use of more expensive residential care. The MCSP is a low-cost model that can be easily replicated by partnerships with existing care and welfare organizations, designing context-specific implementation plans.