ADI Monthly Update
April 2015
Dear Maria,
 

This month we hosted a very successful 30th anniversary conference in Perth, Australia and were delighted to be joined by such a large contingent of people with dementia and carers. Meanwhile it has been another busy month for our member associations with numerous events taking place, and campaigns and reports launched.

 

While these developments are great steps forward, we must also spare a thought for those in Nepal following the earthquake on Saturday and the ongoing rescue efforts. We have received news from our member association in Nepal, ARDS Nepal, to say that they and their families are all safe, but there are obviously ongoing concerns and a great feeling of instability. ARDS Nepal has received a large number of messages from many of our members in other countries and has expressed gratitude for the comforting words. We are currently discussing ways in which to support the association at this time.

 

With best wishes from the ADI team

30th Annual International Conference

Around 1100 delegates joined us for the conference in Perth from 15-18 April. Over 10% of attendees were people with dementia and carers, the largest delegation to date. People with dementia were heavily involved in the programme, speaking at both plenary and parallel sessions. A play about dementia from New Zealand, The Keys are in the Margarine, marked the final plenary presentation and, following on from the success of the film Still Alice, a screening took place alongside a panel discussion with one of the film's co-producers. In collaboration with the NCD Alliance, we hosted two NCD Dialogues sessions on shared risk factors and NCDs in the workplace. The conference also featured a vibrant exhibition area included a dementia friendly Apartment for Life, a Health Brain Precinct area, a bush garden and an interactive art studio. Our thanks go to all who attended the event and who made it such a success, in particular Alzheimer's Australia and Alzheimer's Australia WA.

 

Next year we will be in Budapest, Hungary from 20-24 April. Keep an eye on www.adi2016.org where more details will be available soon.

ADI-Home Instead Carer of the Year

The winner of this year's ADI-Home Instead Carer of the Year award was announced at the conference. Keiko Matsushima from Japan received the award for being the primary carer to her husband Kenji, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 58. Keiko and Kenji's journey with dementia, from concealing Kenji's disease to speaking out and inspiring others, is what inspired Alzheimer's Association Japan (AAJ) to nominate Keiko for the award. Noriyo Washizu from AAJ explained that Keiko's "decade-long journey from isolation to social inclusion has had a dramatic impact on other people in Japan who were living with dementia in secrecy". We are grateful to Keiko and Kenji for travelling to Australia to receive the award and wish them well in their ongoing efforts to increase awareness of dementia in Japan.

New Chairman for ADI

We are delighted to introduce our new Chairman, Glenn Rees, who took over leadership of ADI from Jacob Roy during the conference. Glenn is former CEO of Alzheimer's Australia and, as a result, has worked closely with ADI for a number of years. In addition to Glenn, we also welcome Dale Goldhawk from Canada into the role of Vice Chairman, and Faraneh Farin (Iran), John Grosvenor (UK) and Birgitta Martensson (Switzerland) as new Board members. Both Jacob and former Vice Chair Wendy Fleming were made Honorary Vice Presidents of ADI and we would like to thank them as well as outgoing Board members Carolyn Popham (UK) and Robert Yeoh (Australia) for their hard work.

Latest member news 

 

Health Fair in Bermuda

The Alzheimer's Family Support Group in Bermuda was invited to attend a Health Fair this month. The event provided them with an opportunity to raise awareness of dementia and their work. During the fair, the Group's facilitator Julie-Kay Darrell met the country's Minister of Health and the Environment, Jeanne Atherden.

 

 

Film release prompts media coverage in Bulgaria

Compassion Alzheimer Bulgaria recently received strong media coverage following the release of the film Still Alice. The association's lawyer appeared on national television and radio, speaking about the book and film and its impact. The book, film and this campaign have all helped to raise awareness of dementia in Bulgaria.

 

Campaign ahead of elections in Finland

In the lead-up to the Finnish parliamentary elections this month, Muistiliitto launched a new campaign, Muisti15, to highlight the need for candidates to consider the benefits and services required by people with dementia and their carers. Muistiliitto was also calling for the promotion of memory-friendly attitudes and environments to support people with dementia. The association encouraged for candidates to sign a commitment on the campaign website and also requested that voters support candidates who are committed to the cause. The campaign was backed by 761 candidates, of which 71 were elected and will go on to promote memory-friendly work in parliament.


Promoting dementia policy in Indonesia

Following the conference, Marc travelled to Indonesia to join Alzheimer's Indonesia for meetings with some of the country's government ministers and key decision-makers. During the visit they met with Minister of Health Prof Nila Farid Moeloek, Vice Ambassador of the Netherlands in Indonesia Wouter Plomp, and spoke to the Governor of Jakarta about the importance of dementia friendly cities. 

 

National Strategy launched in Malta

On 2 April, Malta's government launched their National Dementia Strategy in the Maltese Islands (2015-2023). The strategy, which was written by Charles Scerri from Malta Dementia Society, marks the first of its kind worldwide to also be available in a dementia-friendly format. The document was officially presented by Malta's Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Active Ageing Justyne Caruana, who explained that positive feedback on the draft strategy had been received during the WHO Ministerial Conference on Dementia in March. Aspects of the strategy have already begun to be implemented, particularly in the area of professional training which will soon see the formation of a Dementia Intervention Team.

 

Report proposes improved dementia policy in Spain

On 23 April, CEAFA presented a report, prepared in collaboration with Lilly, to Imserso (Institute for the Elderly and Social Services) with recommendations for improvements to be made to support for people with dementia and their families. Conclusiones y propuestas para avanzar en la Política de Estado de Alzheimer (Conclusions and proposals for advancing the state policy of Alzheimer) includes proposals such as ending territorial inequalities in care and support services, and improving training for medical, health and social care professionals. The report was welcomed by Imserso with its Director General highlighting the need for all involved to work together towards achieving the recommendations.

 
Sri Lanka marks continuing Scrabble Bash success

Earlier this year Lanka Alzheimer's Foundation held their seventh annual Scrabble Bash, an activity aimed at promoting mental activity and social connection in older people. The event runs all day with meals provided and sees participants divided into two categories dependent upon their level of experience. Games are facilitated by an international scrabble player and three assistants who volunteer their time. Corporate and individual sponsorship allows the event to take place and raises funds towards operating costs of the Foundation's service centre. Prizes for winners are donated to the Foundation and mostly come from 5-star hotels and this year's event raised approximately US$1900.

 

Shop for a cause benefits Alzheimer's Association (US)

As part of the annual Rita Hayworth Gala, a number of retailers at the luxury 900 North Michigan retail complex donated a percentage of their proceeds on 9 April to the Alzheimer's Association. Fourteen stores, including Bloomingdale's and Gucci, signed up to donate and a special fashion presentation took place on the day with music, cocktails and raffle prizes. The Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala takes place on 9 May and, by mid-April, almost US$1 million had been raised.