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29th International Conference of ADI
Dementia: Working Together For A Global Solution
1-4 May 2014, San Juan
ADI worked with Asociación de Alzheimer y Desórdenes Relacionados de Puerto Rico to host the 29th International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in San Juan from 1 to 4 May 2014. Hundreds of delegates including people with dementia, professional and family carers, researchers, clinicians, scientists and staff and volunteers of national Alzheimer associations from around the world united in Puerto Rico’s capital to exchange knowledge and experiences and take part in ground-breaking discussions.
The conference theme was Dementia: Working Together for a Global Solution. The conference featured plenary sessions on topics such as new technologies, improving care and quality of life, advocacy and risk reduction and prevention. Key note speakers from around the world included Colin Masters from Australia, Laura Fratiglioni from Sweden and Steve DeKosky from the USA. A particular highlight was a panel discussion which debated whether or not people should be informed of their risk of developing dementia.
ADI members were provided with several opportunities to participate in sessions before and during the conference, including a Fundraising Alzheimer University and Advocacy Workshops for ADI associations in the Latin America and Caribbean regions. These workshops addressed global advocacy actions and work by the WHO in the region as well as the development of national dementia plans. Dr Anselm Hennis, Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) joined the group and shared his vision of how ADI and PAHO can work together in the region. Other ADI Workshops focused on risk factors and prevention, raising awareness through films, the work of 10/66 and ADI’s Twinning Programme.
People with dementia played an important and prominent role in the conference including a strong delegation from Dementia Alliance International. People with dementia presented in two of the plenaries and several parallel sessions including a session led by people with dementia. Julio Solier from Puerto Rico spoke during a plenary and played an active role on the Local Organising Committee, which helped with planning the conference.
During the event we were pleased to celebrate the achievements of several people and presented a number of awards. Professor Martin Prince, author of the World Alzheimer Reports and cofounder of the 10/66 Dementia Research Group, received the ADI Award. We were delighted to award the first ADI-Home Instead Family Carer of the Year to Mrs Rose Toyer from South Africa, for her care of her husband and ongoing commitment to training health professionals in the country’s hospitals. During a lively conference dinner we presented the 2nd ADI-MetLife Foundation Awards to winners from both high and low and middle income countries for their innovative programs improving the quality of life for people with dementia.
The G8 Dementia Summit proved an important topic at this year’s conference. Delegates were addressed via video link by Dr Dennis Gillings, World Dementia Envoy, and Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support in the UK, while Gill Ayling from the UK’s Department of Heath took part in several sessions and met with staff of ADI member associations. The final plenary of the conference looked at the power of advocacy with international dementia experts including Scott Russell, who is living with dementia and recently chaired the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum.
A busy exhibition and a varied poster presentation area brought together local and international delegates to share their new knowledge, network and to make connections, bringing the theme of the conference Dementia: Working Together For A Global Solution alive.