A look back at 2015

A message from Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of ADI

17 December 2015 - 2015 was another busy year for Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), working alongside our extensive network of Alzheimer associations to make dementia a global health priority. These achievements mark another significant step forward to realising our vision of a better world for people living with dementia and their carers.

In March the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted the very first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia. Over 80 countries joined the global call for action, the most significant expression of commitment to date.

In April ADI’s 30th International Conference took place in Perth, Australia, attended by over a thousand delegates from nearly 50 countries across the world who enjoyed a diverse programme with many interactive sessions and exhibits. Conferences were also held in the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions and ADI staff participated in numerous other events, including the Alzheimer Europe Conference.

Over the past year ADI has launched several reports, including a booklet on Dementia Friendly Communities, as well as a global review of the research on the impact of dementia on women. This year’s World Alzheimer Report undertook a major review of the global data on dementia’s prevalence, incidence and cost.

A brand new website was developed for the annual World Alzheimer’s Month campaign in September, which had the theme ‘Remember Me’. Each year, more countries take part in World Alzheimer’s Month and thanks to Alzheimer associations around the world, awareness of dementia is improving.

During September we also welcomed Alzheimer associations from across the globe to our annual Alzheimer University training programme, a series of workshops for staff and volunteers to help them strengthen their associations.

In October it was announced that the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) would become the first WHO region to adopt a Regional Plan of Action on Dementia, obliging its member states to develop national dementia plans. We hope that other WHO regions will follow suit in taking similar action.

We were pleased to hear that more countries announced national dementia plans in 2015, with numerous others reporting that they too have plans in development. National Alzheimer associations continue to be the driving force behind these vital policies, which go a long way to securing investment in dementia care and provision for the future.

As we look towards the coming year, we should also take a moment to reflect on those we lost in 2015, including ADI Founder Jerome Stone and dementia advocates Richard Taylor and Peter Ashley, who will be dearly missed.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your support over 2015 and we look forward to another busy year. We hope to see many of you in Budapest for ADI’s 31st International Conference in April.

On behalf of the ADI team, I wish you all the best for 2016.