Dementia: Together towards a new era
ADI and Alzheimer’s Association Japan (AAJ) hosted the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Kyoto, Japan. The conference was attended by 3,000 delegates including people with dementia, family care partners, researchers, professional carers, clinicians and staff and volunteers of Alzheimer associations from over 70 countries.
Delegates and speakers included representatives from Alzheimer Europe, World Dementia Council, Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance, Global Coalition on Aging, World Young Leaders in Dementia and others while speakers with dementia from Dementia Alliance International, Japan Dementia Working Group and others presented on their experiences and other topics. An additional 1,000 members of the public attended the Conference Exhibition during two days of the conference.
The title of the conference, ‘Together towards a new era’, was especially significant ahead of the historic adoption of a global plan on dementia by the World Health Organization (WHO). Our partners, associations and sponsors were actively involved in supporting the message throughout the conference that every government has a critical responsibility to prepare for this plan, including by developing national plans of their own to tackle the unique experience of dementia in their country.
The conference also marked the appointment of Paola Barbarino as the CEO of ADI. Paola played a key role in meetings and symposia throughout the conference, meeting many of the members and supporters of ADI.
The conference was preceded by a full day of pre-conference symposia on topics including building a dementia friendly world, encouraging innovation and engaging media for dementia awareness. Pre-conference symposia also featured the launch of the first ever Dementia Innovation Readiness Index by ADI and the Global Coalition on Aging.
The opening ceremony of the conference was led by ADI Chair Glenn Rees and AAJ Chair Kunio Takami, recognising the achievements of both organisations in the areas of dementia friendliness, policy and inclusion of people living with dementia and the global progress made since the ADI conference was held in Kyoto in 2004.
Mr Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare emphasised the importance of inclusion and respect for people living with dementia in Japan, and the support from the government for the continued prioritisation and international collaboration on dementia. An official welcome to Japan was also given by the Governor of Kyoto prefecture, Mr Keiji Yamada, and Mayor of Kyoto city, Mr Daisaku Kadokawa.
The opening ceremony was followed by an introduction to the conference by Tomofumi Tanno, a member of Japan Dementia Working Group and Founder of ‘Orange Door’, who spoke about his journey over ten years since his diagnosis of dementia; from fear and anxiety to his active role as a dementia advocate with the support of Alzheimer associations in Japan and Scotland.
Plenary sessions and Exhibition
The first plenary session, ‘Global aspects of dementia’ examined the achievements and lessons learned from the dementia movement from the 1980s to the present day, followed by presentations throughout the conference on the latest scientific knowledge, examples of dementia friendly communities and the application of human rights and support for people with dementia, including those affected by natural and other disasters.
400 posters on aspects of dementia care, science and lived experience were showcased throughout the conference, and activities including flower arranging and origami led by people living with dementia were featured in the AAJ lounge.
The importance of including more people in dementia research and of timely diagnosis were also highlighted throughout the programme, as well as updates on the latest projects and innovations of our member associations.
Carer of the year
Simone Martine from Italy received the 2017 ADI-Home Instead ‘Carer of the Year’ Award during the conference dinner, presented by Home Instead partner Duskin Corporation. The award recognises the support he provides for his mother with dementia alongside his elderly father. Simone is an active supporter of Federazione Alzheimer Italia, attending carer support groups and taking part in World Alzheimer’s Month in 2016.
The conference concluded with a powerful message for governments everywhere to support the implementation of the global plan on dementia, including working with Alzheimer associations and people with dementia to turn the plan into action.
ADI thanks AAJ, committee members, MCI and all of the presenters and participants for contributing to a great conference.
ADI is grateful for the support of Lilly, Nestlé Skin Health, Biogen, Axovant, Roche and the other sponsors and exhibitors. The programme was supported by a subsidy from Kyoto city and Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Programme, abstract book, photos and video