Designing a Dementia Care Model in Turkey


Dementia is a significant and increasing public health problem that impacts individuals, their family and friends, care-givers and society. Dementia is characterised by a combination of symptoms that affects thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgment. 

Dementia remains one of the toughest challenges in health and social care. Despite scientific progress over the last 25 years, addressing dementia remains a national and international challenge. Stigma, denial and inadequate financial resources remain key barriers to proper treatment and care. The development and implementation of a Turkish National Dementia Plan, to close the gap between ‘what we know’ and ‘what we do’ in dementia care, can play a key role in meeting the needs of people with dementia, their informal carers and the wider society. The direct and indirect economic costs for dementia are estimated to be higher than the costs of any other major disease.

The proposed dementia care model, presented in this document, is developed in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policy. The model attempts to address these gaps at a national and strategic level. It provided a framework that is coherent with a proposed wider elderly care model for Turkey. The dementia care model constitutes part of a wider project aimed at increasing the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and is based on: 

  1. An in-depth review of international policy and best practice in dementia care in three European countries (The Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom) reflecting different national care models; 
  2. Assessment of current situation of residential and home-based services for elderly with Alzheimer’s and Dementia problems in Turkey;
  3. Field visit to an institution providing dementia care in Eskisehir province; and
  4. Discussions with the Ministry of Family and Social Policies personnel, managers and directors at the national level and at Eskisehir province.

This project was supported by with the resources of the European Union Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA I) funding.


Özbabalik, D and Hussein, S. (2017) Developing a Turkish Dementia Care Model. The Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Ankara, Turkey.


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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.