Project description for Greenland

The first part of the project in Greenland is focused on recruiting suitable test persons. This  process starts with racking citizens in Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq which suffer from dementia. It's been a bit of a challenge to find the people with dementia, where the state of the dementia hasn’t reach a point where they won’t respond to help. Many of the relatives shield their dementia diseased family member or they don't know that it's the start of dementia.

The radio has been so accommodating to rebroadcast the programs we have had on dementia, and this has meant that we have had several inquiries from relatives. We have also held public meetings with education. All this has helped to highlight the fact that dementia is a disease and not, as many people think, a result from an excessive consumption of alcohol.

We found 50 people in the entire municipality and out of the 50 we have selected 12 suitable to test technical aids. All test subjects can give written consent with their families in relation to participate in the project. All persons have a dementia diagnosis from a doctor, except the 4 in East Greenland, where we as soon as we have consent declarations signed, shall contact the hospital system to get diagnoses.

Once all permits are in the house and questionnaire approved, we start the interview based on the translated questions.

Status for February, 2013

We are discussing the project and how we can cooperate on test subjects and interviews with our partners. The local steering committee is a doctor, which we hope we can get a close cooperation with, in relation to answer questions relating to medical consultations, etc.

We have translated two dementia pamphlets, one of which is on fronto-temporal dementia and the other is a help for relatives and carers who are around people with dementia.

Once the technical means are defined and approved, we will contact the IT department so we are fully aware of how they work. We will discuss how the distance learning can reach the other cities. There should be erected a screen in all municipalities, but it has not worked so well yet.

In the autumn 2012, we approached self-directed, as there should be made a dementia strategy in Greenland that we want one person who has a prolonged dementia coordinator education in every large municipality. The coordinators should have two dementia consultants in every city employee. These two would then be able to advice people with dementia, their carers and staff caregivers. This will be addressed in the Upper House in the spring and then we hear more of what they decide.

Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq have fortunately had the foresight so that we now have three persons in three different locations in our large municipality that has had long training, so we have a good start in the field.

Published: 17/02/2013

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Rosemarie Elsner, project leader,