A discussion with MEP Tsvetelina Penkova: European policies, dementia and 3D printing

On 1 October, 2021 a discussion with MEP Tsvetelina Penkova on the connection between European policies, dementia and 3D printing was held at the office of Alzheimer Bulgaria Association (ABA). A limited number of participants gathered at the Association conference hall in compliance with the current COVID-19 measures and the meeting was broadcast live online on the page of the event.

MEP Tsvetelina Penkova supports the Association in the European Parliament since 2019. At that time Mrs. Penkova signed a Declaration in support of a campaign, initiated by Alzheimer Europe and supported by ABA on a national level to recognize dementia as a priority of European and national policies.

As part of her ongoing commitment to the cause, Mrs. Penkova contributed to introducing an innovative 3D printing technology in the care of patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In 2021 ABA started working on the 3D4ELDERLY project under the Erasmus + program. The project aims to create innovative learning pathways that increase the quality of the work of caregivers and staff members dealing with people with Alzheimer and elderly people with dementia and also to raise the quality of the life of the patients by using 3D technology. Partner organizations from Italy, Spain and Lithuania are involved in the project.

After introducing the participants and the reason for the meeting, Mrs. Penkova reviewed the relevant policies in the EP and stressed that an active framework of health protocols is currently being developed for crisis situations, where European regions can benefit from enhanced exchange and support by the regulator for sharing practices of adequate health care. The solutions will be implemented at a community level and not just at individual or regional level.

The 3D printer provided by the office of MEP Penkova for the purposes of 3D4ELDERLY ensures the sustainability of the project results and is an example of a successful investment in education, knowledge and transfer of digital solutions and policies. We are happy and appreciate the donation that will help us apply modern technologies to improve the standard of care for people with dementia and support the efforts of their caregivers to provide meaningful activities for cognitive skills’ stimulation.