Middle East Network on Ageing Launch

November 3, 2014

It was estimated in 2012 that within the Middle East and North African Region there were 1.5 million people diagnosed with dementia. This is predicted by 2050, to increase by 435% resulting in 6.5 million people – a staggering statistic.

On 01 November 2014 the first meeting of the Middle East Network On Ageing (MENOA) took place at the National Training Institute, Cairo, Egypt.

With our combined Middle East and European expertise in elderly care systems and specialist assisted living systems, the Network will offer a collaboration with local experts to help speed-up the processes of appropriate home care, care systems, specialist assisted living, nursing homes and post-hospital interim rehabilitation facilities for elderly people. To help achieve this, a future possible collaboration with the International Institute on Ageing, United Nations – Malta (INIA) is also currently being discussed.

MENOA has been established as the integral platform for professionals dealing with elderly care in all its various forms from across the region. 24 specialists from Egypt, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Malta, Lebanon and the UK indicated interest in building the Network. 14 of these distinguished individuals were able to attend the initial meeting on 01 November 2014.

Mel Fairbourn-Varley, Director of International Projects at DWA Architects was invited to attend the event and asked to give a presentation on Architectural Design for People with Dementia. The presentation highlighted the importance of providing architectural and interior design environments which support the physical environmental needs for people with dementia.

Professor Tamer Farid of Ain Shams University, presented the issues of ageing in the Middle East and the demographic and statistical information from across the region.

Interactive sessions also took place as part of the meeting, which allowed attendees to give their input, to help shape the future of the Network and agree actions. Actions agreed included a meeting to be arranged with INIA(UN) Malta during February 2015 and the establishment of sponsorship for the advancement of a centre of reference for the collation of demographic material on the health, social and environmental issues of elderly people in the Middle East and also to define a range of successful models of elderly care to avoid replicating previous failures. The meeting also agreed to establish a database of culturally sensitive care facilities and features, goods and services, service models, types of care packages, identify the capacities available across the Middle East and also develop an e-learning platform for the delivery of training.

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