Two thousand seniors living in Ticino involved in a study on their health

Institutional Communication Service

21 December 2020

Two thousand senior citizens over 65 living in Ticino are invited to take part in the first epidemiological study on their health called SwissDEM. The initiative, which began in recent days with the sending of letters to potential participants, is promoted by the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DSS) together with the Institute of Public Health (IPH) of Università della Svizzera italiana.

SwissDEM is a population study, carried out with the people and for the people and is part of the cantonal strategy on dementias. For years, Professor Emiliano Albanese, scientific director of the study, has been collaborating with Dr Anna De Benedetti, President of the Cantonal Commission for the implementation of the cantonal strategy on dementia, to assess the state of the health of the elderly, and in particular the impact of dementia on patients, their families, and the community.

The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and takes place not only in Ticino but also in Geneva and Zurich. In Ticino, the project is also possible thanks to the valuable collaboration with Pro Senectute, the Consiglio degli Anziani, Alzheimer Ticino and Associazione Ticinese Terza Età. The awareness campaign Centparcent (100%SwissDEM), which took place from May to August 2020 and is still active with a Facebook channel, an Instagram page and a website, was the result of this precious collaboration. The faces of those who participated in a pilot study were featured in the campaign to stress the importance of participation, under the motto "Everyone counts"(https://centparcent.ch).

The letters will provide details on the many ways to participate in the study, all in compliance with regulations and health safety standards due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The DSS and IPH have set up a flexible system to allow participants to choose how they will be monitored throughout the study, establishing a dialogue and a relationship of mutual trust over time.

DSS and IPH hope that all the recipients will find plenty of information to understand the goals of the study and how individual participation is crucial, in the interest of the community. Apart from those few letters that will not be delivered for various reasons, connected to such large mailings, it is hoped to arouse everyone's interest. The participation of a large and representative number of seniors living in Ticino is key to collect valid and reliable data on health, and to assess the needs and expectations of this extraordinarily heterogeneous and diverse part of the population.

For more information: 058/666.49.61 or https://www.biomed.usi.ch/it/facolta-scienze-biomediche/istituti/swissdem

Media contact persons:
Anna De Benedetti, President of the Cantonal Commission for the Implementation of the Cantonal Dementia Strategy, 091/814.40.09
Emiliano Albanese, Director of the Institute of Public Health and principal investigator of the SwissDEM. project, 079/375.06.29

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