Sharing effective community-based support in dementia

The international exchange of knowledge on effective post-diagnostic care and support for community-dwelling people with dementia and their carers between scientists, professionals, policy makers and people with dementia and carers is crucial to improve post-diagnostic care and support, and to help people adjust to living with the consequences of dementia, thus building resilience for the future. There is still a great gap in the period after diagnosis when people don’t need intensive care yet, but where emotional and social support can help people with dementia and carers to maintain mental and social health.

The MEETINGDEM NETWORK, which has been officially launched on 7 June 2018 in Amsterdam, consists of Meeting Centres in the different countries in Europe and beyond (Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, Australiain, Aruba, Surinam, Australia, Singapore and Japan), and the universities and care and welfare organisations that are involved in the development or exploitation of these Meeting Centres. All involved stakeholders, who are interested to join the network, can be registered as a member of the network. All members are listed on the MEETINGDEM website.

The main aims of the MEETINGDEM Network are:

Further dissemination of the concept of Meeting Centers
The MEETINGDEM Network will stimulate further dissemination of the proven effective combined Meeting Centres Support Programme across Europe and beyond and through these centres stimulate international exchange of effective care and support post diagnosis.

Knowledge exchange
The MEETINGDEM network will promote international knowledge exchange on effective post-diagnostic care and support for community-dwelling people with dementia and their carers via Meeting Centres between scientists, professionals and others involved in dementia care, policy makers and people with dementia and carers within and between countries. This will be done, for example via the MEETINGDEM website, newsletter and meetings at congresses (such as the yearly Alzheimer Europe conferences).

Exchange of experiences and views
Exchange of experiences and views between stakeholders involved in the Meeting Centres can facilitate the birth of new Meeting Centres in different cultural, geographical, economic and organisational contexts, and stimulate the dissemination and adaptive implementation of effective care and support methods for people with dementia and carers from one country to another.

International collaboration in applied research
The MEETINGDEM network will also promote international collaboration in applied research in the field of post-diagnostic interventions in dementia. As such the MEETINGDEM Network can be positioned as a kind of ‘Academic Workplace on post-diagnostic care in dementia’ on a European level.

Courses for personnel of Meeting Centres

When other countries/ regions want to develop courses for personnel of Meeting Centres, these can be certified by the MEETINGDEM-Network. These new courses will then have to be assessed and approved by the Course Approval Committee which consists of

1) the Chair of the MeetingDem board (now: prof Rose-Marie Dröes) and

2) at least one second board member (or in MCSP trained member of the Committe of Recommendation). In principal this second person is from the country where the course will be offered. If there is no representative of this country in the board, one of the board (or Committee of Recommendation) members who has said to be willing to assess new courses will be invited by the Chair of the board to do so (see below).

A good example of the value of the MEETINGDEM Network
A good example of knowledge exchange and the scientific value of the Network as a kind of ‘Academic Workplace on post-diagnostic care in dementia’ on a European level is the recently successfully finalized JPND-MEETINGDEM project.

This implementation and evaluation project took place in four EU countries (NL, I, PL, UK), was lead by universities/knowledge institutes in close collaboration with care and welfare organisations and the Alzheimer Associations in these countries. During the three year project period 15 new Meeting Centres were adaptively implemented. The aim was to gain knowledge on the adaptive implementation of the Meeting Centres Support Programme in these countries, and to demonstrate the added value of the combined Meeting Centres Support Programme compared to usual care in the different countries regarding their impact on quality of life of participants and mental health of carers, as well as the cost-effectiveness. The study resulted in 10 scientific international publications and contributed to two PhD theses, international mobility of PhD students and members of the research teams, as well as many contributions at scientific and professional (inter)national congresses and collaborative symposia in the different countries and a worldwide network of interested stakeholders.
The study is now being replicated in Australia (Sydney) by one of the MEETINGDEM network partners. Based on the MEETINGDEM results a health network in Spain (Zamora and Salamanca) decided to set up the first Meeting Centres for people with dementia and carers in Spain.

Executive board of the Network
Em. Prof. Rose-Marie Dröes (NL), Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Chair)
Em. Prof. Dawn Brooker (UK), University of Worcester, Association for Dementia Studies

Dr. Shirley Evans (UK), Director of the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester
Prof. Rabih Chattat (I), University of Bologna
Prof. Joanna Rymaszewska (PL), Wroclaw Medical University
Dr. Elisabetta Farina (I), Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Milan

Prof. Manuel Franco (ES), University of Salamanca, Salamanca
Dr. Franka Meiland (NL), Amsterdam University Medical Centers

Committee of Recommendation
Manuela Berardinelli (I), President of Alzheimer Uniti Italia Onlus, member of Alzheimer Europe
Gianluca Borghi (I), Chief Administrator Azienda Pubblica di servizi alla Persona (ASP), City of Bologna
Colin Capper (UK), Head of Research Development, Alzheimer’s Society
Maria Koźmińska (PL), coordinator Meeting Center Wroclaw
Prof. Claudio Mariani (I), Former President of the Italian Neurological Society for the study of dementia (SIN-DEM)
Dr. Dorota Szcześniak (PL), Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry Wroclaw Medical University
Marc Wortmann (NL), former executive director of Alzheimer Disease International

Contact address of the MEETINGDEM Network:

More information: