An end of year message from ADI CEO Paola Barbarino

As 2021 comes to an end, ADI CEO Paola Barbarino reflects on the work of ADI in 2021 and what we are looking towards to in 2022.

As we near the second year since we first heard or read the words ‘COVID-19’, life before the pandemic can sometimes feel like a distant memory. Despite this, the team at ADI has continued to work incredibly hard in the many different capacities that it operates.

If you have regularly followed our work these last 24 months, you will already know that our vision of helping people living with dementia and their families has never been more important and during these sometime strange circumstances, we have remained firm in our commitment to ensuring that people living with dementia have every available opportunity to live a better life.

That is why love, compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence have been in sharp focus this year.

Simultaneously, we have continued to study and work on the political aspects that are critical in gaining traction at the government level and as we head into 2022, this part of our work will be ramped up.

With the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global action plan on dementia dauntingly far from its 2025 target, the scale of the challenge for countries to adopt and enact national dementia plans can seem overwhelming and almost impossible. However, as we saw with the recording breaking traction that this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign gained, we know that the international appetite for bettering the lives of people living with dementia and their carers is there.

That is why in 2022 we will be pressing ahead with a global campaign to ask governments who have yet to adopt a national dementia plan: ‘What’s your plan?’.

We know that new therapies are on the horizon. We know that diagnosis levels across the globe are abysmally low. We know that COVID-19 impacts cognitive deterioration. We know that public health awareness around dementia and risk reduction is still swamped in stigma.

Dementia is the seventh leading cause of death in the world. What do we need to do for it stop being the Cinderella of healthcare? We must begin holding governments more accountable.

As we head into 2022 and beyond, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continuing to raise awareness, even when it sometimes feels like we are fighting an uphill battle. We are emboldened by our belief in knowing that it is not only right but also through our collective power of each of us being compassionate, hopeful and optimistic beings. We will not lose hope and each day, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter.

More than ever, I wish you strength, happiness and love as we come to the end of 2021 and I continue to thank you for your support, belief and resilience.

May 2022 bring us peace, altruism and joy and may we all hug each other again soon.

Happy New Year

Paola Barbarino

Watch Paola’s end of year message with Spanish captions

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