Hitting their STRiDE in September

World Alzheimer’s Month is just around the corner and the STRiDE (Strengthening responses to dementia in developing countries) project teams have been busy planning activities to raise awareness and keep dementia on the policy agenda.

The STRiDE project is led by the London School of Economics and Political Science, in partnership with ADI, Dementia Alliance International (DAI) and other key universities in seven different countries. The project looks at combining both academia and civil society (Alzheimer associations or NGO partners), to assist countries in turning conducted research into actual policy change through evidence, advocacy and stakeholder engagement – all with the end goal of having a positive impact on the lives of people who are affected by dementia.

STRiDE works in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa and in each country, STRiDE teams are gearing up to conduct COVID-safe activities, whether virtual or face-to-face.  In the lead up to World Alzheimer’s Month 2021, ADI would like to shine a light on some of the creative and inspiring activities that a few of the STRiDE countries are planning. Here are a few highlights that you may wish to explore.

On 1st September, Brazil’s Federation of Alzheimer associations across the country, FEBRAZ, will kick off World Alzheimer’s Month with an important webinar on “The legal rights of people living with Alzheimer’s in Brazil” live on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/febraz.br/  at 7pm (GMT-3).

The event will focus on the rights of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and feature a panel discussion with authors of the recently published book “Alzheimer’s: patients’ rights“, written by Lina Menenzes, a journalist specializing in Alzheimer’s, Ana Luisa Rosas, MD Neurologist, and Vivian Erlichman, a healthcare lawyer expert.

Member associations of FEBRAZ have also been busy planning an array of activities for people living with dementia, carers, and professionals that can be accessed online, via podcast, or as a dedicated activity.

  • Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Care Podcast – launching in September – the 30/40 minute long Podcast episodes will cover contents about Alzheimer’s disease in simple language, with specialist professionals who already work with Associação de Parentes e Amigos de Pessoas com Alzheimer (APAZ); including interviews, analysis and comments. Available online on podcast streaming platforms https://www.facebook.com/apaz.rio/ and https://www.instagram.com/apazrio/
  • Instituto Alzheimer Brasil (IAB) will hold a month-long baby doll therapy intervention campaign in Curitiba, Parana. The project is a partnership with the EMS pharmaceutical that donated and is delivering 100 baby dolls for those people with mild dementia whose family members participated in the virtual sections where orientations were given as how to introduce and use the dolls, as well as being respectful of the dignity of their loved ones. This information is being reinforced by a printed brochure that is delivered with each doll. For information, please contact bethpiovezan@hotmail.com.
  • Instituto Não Me Esqueças (INME) will run a month-long anti-stigma campaign. “Your affection humanizes” will launch its own landing page and publish a number of posts with facts, figures and messages to raise awareness about the importance of humanizing the person living with Alzheimer’s disease. The aim is to reduce stigma by giving voice to people with dementia and their caregivers. The campaign can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/instnaomeesquecas/ and https://www.instagram.com/instnaomeesquecas/

On 1 September, STRiDE-Indonesia partner Alzheimer’s Indonesia (ALZI) will launch their Dementia Care Tips & Tricks video series. The series, in which a new video will be uploaded every day during the month of September to ALZI’s YouTube Channel (Alzheimer Indonesia) and Instagram (@alzi_indonesia), will feature people living with dementia and caregivers sharing their voices in educating the general public and newly-diagnosed individuals.

Also on 1 September, ALZI will launch their NARAZI hotline. NARAZI is an online family-based counselling and support service to support persons with dementia and their family to navigate life with dementia. Email narazi@alzi.or.id for more info.

ALZI’s peak WAM event will be their “Kenali Demensia, Pentingnya Deteksi Dini” (“Understand Dementia, the Importance of Early Detection”) Webinar on 24 Sept 2021. The webinar will target between 300-500 participants and will be held in Bahasa Indonesia.

The webinar will provide a platform for discussion between the government, private sector, and multidisciplinary health professional associations (neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians) to plan guidance for people recently diagnosed with dementia and to promote the importance of early detection. During this webinar a video titled “Dementia – what’s next?” will also be launched.

STRiDE-Mexico’s partner, Federacion Mexicana de Alzheimer (FEDMA), also a federation of local Alzheimer associations, has planned a wide array of creative activities throughout the month of September to generate interest.

All month long, individuals can take part in musical activities (pictured here), go on virtual memory walks, or interact with dementia pets. Other options include yoga for dementia, swimming, biking and even hobbies.  There is even a special focus on encouraging and supporting people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Finally, for STRiDE colleagues in Kenya and South Africa, COVID-19 has meant most activities will need to be virtual.  In Kenya, the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Organization Kenya (ADOK) is busy planning their virtual Mind Walk.  One of ADOK’s chapters, in Kakamega, hopes to have a physical Mind Walk.

Alzheimer’s South Africa’s local branch in Gauteng will hold a virtual spring challenge to encourage people to get active – running, walking, cycling or paddling – and raise money to support important services provided by the local team. Other activities include an event on World Alzheimer’s Day, 21 September, in KwaZulu-Natal with speakers focusing Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning, therapeutic activities for people living with dementia, and personal experiences from family members.

With each passing year, ADI grows more amazed and proud of the ingenuity and creativity of our Alzheimer and dementia associations across the globe as they prepare and roll-out activities during World Alzheimer’s Month. This brief selection of STRiDE activities is only a small highlight of some of the activities taking place in September 2021 – which looks to be a busy, but rewarding, month ahead!