October signaled another busy month for ADI, following September’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign: Never Too Early Never Too Late, which achieved the highest reach in both social media and traditional media to date. To ensure that dementia receives the attention that is deserves globally, ADI Staff and board members travelled internationally to capitalize on the growing momentum; from Buenos Aires, Brunei Darussalam, Helsinki, Lausanne, Tbilisi, to The Hague.
‘Dementia & Ageing with Dignity’
On 1 October, ADI Board Chair, Dale Goldhawk participated in ADI Member’s Georgian Alzheimer’s Association (GAA) conference on ‘Dementia & Ageing with Dignity’. During the session Dale delivered a keynote talk on the subject of ‘Dignity & Understanding for the Alzheimer Family’. During the talk, he highlighted key findings from this year’s World Alzheimer’s Report ‘Reducing Dementia Risk: never too early, never too late’, and emphasised that risk reduction does not end with a diagnosis, a vital message for those currently living with dementia, and their support networks.
Dale and GAA conducted high-level talks with Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Labour. During the meeting, the joint delegation was assured by the importance with which the Government of Georgia considered the topic of dementia. Further promising that a special committee would be called within two weeks to take immediate steps to expedite Georgia’s National Dementia Plan, under Ms Gabunia’s direction.
33rd Alzheimer Europe conference
Between 16 to 18 October 2023, ADI’s Head of Research and Publications, Wendy Wiedner; Head of Accreditation, Amalia Fonk-Utomo and Policy and Communications Manager, Lewis Arthurton attended the 33rd Alzheimer Europe conference “New opportunities in dementia care, policy and research” in Helsinki, Finland.
During the conference, Wendy moderated a panel discussion on “From ideas to reality: real life experience and tangible examples of developing and implementing national dementia plans” and presented on not making “Perfect, the enemy of the good: How to make dementia plans that can deliver impact”. Amalia Fonk-Utomo presented a poster on the benefits of ADI accreditation in supporting the improvement of care for people with dementia and reduce the variation in the quality of care provided, as well as ensuring a more focused approach to meeting people’s needs through the delivery of educational training programmes. Lewis Arthurton presented a poster on the #WhatsYourPlan campaign, aiming to increase the number of National Dementia Plans globally, and gave a short presentation on the World Alzheimer Report 2023: Reducing Dementia Risk: Never too early, never too late during a separate session.
Global Mental Health Summit: Buenos Aires
During the 5-6 October, Noemí Medina from ADI Member Asociación Lucha contra el Mal de Alzheimer (A.L.M.A.) represented ADI at the WHO Global Mental Health Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the two day session, Noemí held constructive meetings with the newly appointed Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa and Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the WHO, Dévora Kestel.
ADI was also featured within the summit with ADI Regional Director for the Americas, Diego Aguilar providing a recorded special message that was displayed at the Older Persons Workshop, showcasing the work of Alzheimer’s Disease International and Alzheimer ALMA Buenos Aires. Diego also highlighted ALMA’s expansive efforts in developing the RADA network, a national 22-member collective of Argentinian dementia associations. Both the summit and RADA network are important achievements for Argentina and for building advocacy across the whole Latin America region.
Lausanne X Dialogues
In early October ADI was once again co-host for the Lausanne X Dialogues with The Global CEO Initiative, OECD and World Economic Forum. Now in its 10th year this innovative and challenging event brings together industry, payers, regulators, researchers, people living with dementia and carers to discuss what is really happening in this complex intersection between disease modifying treatment development, accessibility and affordability. Paola Barbarino joined George Vradenburg (CEOi) and former ADI Board Member Birgitta Martensson to open the forum and Chris Lynch chaired the first panel of the day on the value of new treatments for people living with dementia.
Alongside the challenges to governments and healthcare systems, at this pivotal moment in time, with emergent disease modifying treatments and diagnostic breakthroughs, we are also there to remind people of the social inequalities that can come from lack of access, the importance of diverse and inclusive decisions in everything from research to clinical trials, the need not to forget non-therapeutic interventions and risk reduction.
Regional Committee for the Western Pacific: seventy-fourth session
On the 16-18 October, Dr Veeda Michelle Anlacan from ADI Member, Alzheimer’s Disease Association of the Philippines (ADAP) represented ADI at the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific region held in the Manila, Philippines. The WHO regional committee for the Western Pacific region is the WHO’s highest decision-making body for all Member States within the region and typically meet once per year. During the Regional Committee sessions, Member States help to shape political commitment and action to improve the health and health conditions of the people living in the Region. During the 3-day event, Michele highlighted the growing public health crisis that dementia presents and advocated for improvements to the lives of those living with dementia and carers in the region.