FAGAL | Federación Alzhéimer Galicia

Dementia and dependency

According to WHO (World Health Organization), dependency is the permanent state in which people need to be taken care of to carry out daily activities and/or need important assistive technology that enables their survival as long as possible in their environment.

The same definition could be used for dementia because a person with dementia needs to be taken care of for almost every daily activity, mostly during late stages of disease.

When we talk about daily activities we are talking about tasks and conducts a person carries out daily that allow him or her living independently and included in his or her environment, fulfilling, this way, their role in this society. Within these daily activities we can find:

  • Basic daily activities: these are activities related to the body such as showering, dressing up, nutrition, mobility, personal hygiene and grooming, resting...
  • Instrumental daily activities: these are activities related to interaction and they're often complicated and usually optional because they could be delegated to other people: pet care, using communication systems, managing financial issues, create and support a household, cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping...

Assistive technology is also very important. Assistive technology refers to products especially made to ease and allow the execution of actions in a given situation. Examples of assistive technology would be: Wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses, bathroom adaptations...

Dependency and dementia in Galicia. Some information... 

In 2016, out of 31,718 dependent people that lived in Galicia, 37,48% were rated as mainly dependent and 36,57% were wholly dependent, while only 25,95% were partly dependent, according to data from IGE.

During that same year, the most common benefit granted by the Sistema de Atención a la Dependencia (Dependency Care System) in Galicia was home assistance service (30,02% of all benefits), slightly higher than in the rest of Spain. The same happens with day-care centers and nursing homes, the number of requests being slightly higher too. This data is related directly to an increase in the aging index in Galicia, where the last data gathered by IGE show there are 129,32 men over the age of 65 for every 100 underage boys and 185,31 women over the age of 65 for every 100 underage girls.

Therefore, the number of women that request dependency rating is bigger than the number of men. Out of all requests, 65% belong to women.

In these past years, the number of requests has increased and the age group that make those requests comprises people over the age of 64.