DESK REVIEWS | How is dementia framed in this context?

DESK REVIEW | How is dementia framed in this context?

Dementia is framed as a serious condition that may lead to a physically and psychologically dependent-life, with high impact in the quality of life of family carers (Brazilian Ministry of Health, 2018e).


Brazilian Ministry of Health. (2018e). Orientações Técnicas para a Implementação de Linha de Cuidado para Atenção integral à Saúde da Pessoa Idosa no Sistema Único de Saúde—SUS. Ministério da Saúde do Brasil.


Dementia is discussed in a clinical context in PERDOSSI’s clinical practice guideline. This guideline advises on promotion, prevention, diagnostic, and treatment aspects of dementia starting from the primary care level up to the third-level referral. It was developed based on adapting existing guidelines from other countries (including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and the UK) to the local context, and was planned to be renewed in 2017 (PERDOSSI, 2015). However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no updated versions of the guideline or of other clinical guidelines publicly available.


PERDOSSI. (2015). Panduan Praktik Klinik: Diagnosis dan Penatalaksanaan Demensia. PERDOSSI.

Dementia appears to be falling under the realm of mental health; however, no specific mention has been made in the mental health policy (Ministry of Health, 2015c)


Ministry of Health. (2015c). Kenya mental health policy 2015-2030: Towards Attaining the Highest Standard of Mental Health. Nairobi, Kenya.


Dementia is largely invisible in South African policies, with the exception of the Older Person’s Act. The Department of Social Development (DSD) has an underlying ‘Active Aging’ philosophy embedded in its Older person’s programme (also underlying the Older Person’s Act) that promotes the full participation of older persons in their societies, decision-making, and keeping them in their families/communities for as long as possible (Jordan, 2009). The State frames care for older persons largely as the family’s responsibility, with the threat of this philosophy equating to the promotion of (unpaid) care largely being located within the home/family. This burden of unpaid care fall especially on women with negative effects on their capacity to participate in the labour market, and positions women as being responsible for large-scale social and political challenges (Sevenhuijsen et al., 2003).


Jordan, C. (2009). Older Person’s Programme: Concept paper. Available from:

Sevenhuijsen, S., Bozalek, V., Gouws, A. and Minnaar-Mcdonald, M. (2003). South African social welfare policy: An analysis using the ethic of care. Critical Social Policy, 23(3), 299–321.