The 2023 World Alzheimer’s Month campaign marked the twelfth anniversary of this important awareness raising event. During the month, ADI and its members seek to tackle the continued lack of awareness and address the stigma and discrimination surrounding the condition.
Each World Alzheimer’s Month also has a theme, typically centred around the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to dementia 2017-2025. The theme for this year’s campaign was risk reduction (Action area 3). This follows increasing evidence which suggests that 40% of cases of dementia could be delayed or reduced by addressing just 12 modifiable risk factors. Accordingly, throughout the campaign ADI and its members sought to educate the public, policy makers, and clinicians on the importance of risk reduction and provide tangible advice to bring theory into action.
To launch the campaign, ADI was particularly honoured to share an address from ADI’s Ambassador, Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al Hussain of Jordan, who highlighted the importance of the campaign and in particular the campaign theme, poignantly stating:
“Through this month, we also raise awareness through the use of the hashtags – #NeverTooEarly, reminding us that action can begin at any moment; #NeverTooLate, assuring us that it’s never too late to make a difference; #ReduceRiskNow, a challenge and an opportunity; and #WorldAlzMonth, uniting us all in our pursuit.”
During the month ADI members organised a myriad of events. France Alzheimer organised a two-day “Memo-Run” aiming to bring people of all ages together to engage in risk reduction activities. ADI member Barbados Alzheimer’s Association hosted a webinar that brought together expert speakers and Ministry of Health representatives focusing on the campaign theme and the ultimate need for a National Dementia Plan. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Alzheimer’s Association Japan hosted a live-streaming event to showcase prominent buildings being lit in Orange. The ‘Orange plan’ being the name attributed to Japan’s National Dementia Plan. Alzheimer’s Indonesia went above and beyond, organising a concert and art exhibition, the latter featuring the work of those living with dementia.
ADI and our members also took to social media to highlight the importance of the campaign, utilising hashtags we encouraged the public to #ReduceRiskNow and that it is #NeverTooEarly or #NeverTooLate to start. Over the course of World Alzheimer’s Month our message on social media alone has reached over 74 million people worldwide. We also took to the media, obtaining coverage in over 75 countries in print, radio and television media.
On the 21st of September, World Alzheimer’s Day, ADI launched the World Alzheimer Report 2023: Reducing Dementia Risk: never too early, never too late. The report examines the drivers behind risk reduction and provides an accessible overview of both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors as well as the benefits of lifelong risk reduction, drawing upon insights and examples from across the World. The launch event which was hosted by ADI CEO, Paola Barbarino included lead author, Simon Long of The Economist, alongside report contributors Prof Miia Kivipelto, Muthoki Kithanze and Emily Ong to provide greater insights into their contribution to the report.
This World Alzheimer’s Month was a testament that awareness raising around Alzheimer’s and dementia continues to gain more traction, support and attention each year. The determination and tenacity of ADI members to continue raising awareness has made this month the most successful yet. We would like to thank everyone who participated and made this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month and helped to spread the message of our campaign to people across the world.
All of this would also not be possible without the support of our World Alzheimer’s Month sponsors, and a special thanks to Roche, Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Biogen, Eisai, AbbVie, MSD and STEP for their generosity.