A look back at ADI's 30th anniversary year

A message from ADI Chairman Dr Jacob Roy Kuriakose

18 December 2014 - 2014 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. This year there have been some positive developments, marking another step forward to achieving our vision of a better world for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

In October 2014 ADI celebrated its 30th anniversary, marking three decades of global collaboration and advocacy. From its humble beginnings in 1984, ADI is now recognised as the global voice on dementia. Aptly, our 30th year featured some major developments, kicked off by the commitments made at the close of the G8 Dementia Summit in December last year.

The subsequent Legacy Events in London, Canada and Japan and the formation of the World Dementia Council have helped to raise dementia’s positioning on the global health agenda. To this end, ADI launched the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance (GADAA), with a view to engage the wider community, building commitment and actions at a national and international level and sharing best practices globally.

In May the ADI International Conference was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a region that will be one of the most impacted by dementia’s increasing prevalence. Earlier this month we met in New Delhi, India, for the 17th Asia Pacific Regional Conference, launching the event in tandem with a new report, Dementia in the Asia Pacific Region.

Dementia and risk reduction has featured highly on the agenda this year, with September’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign looking at ways we might be able to reduce our chances of developing the disease with brain healthy lifestyles. The World Alzheimer Report 2014 was well received by the scientific community and policy makers, urging both national and international planning to include dementia alongside other non-communicable disease (NCD) programs. At the start of the year, ADI was accepted as a member of the NCD Alliance, a network of civil society organizations in more than 170 countries around the world.

Month on month, we receive reports from member associations that national dementia plans are being developed in their countries. Most recently, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba became some of the first low and middle income countries to launch dementia plans, with similar commitments also in development in several other such countries around the world. National Alzheimer associations continue to be the driving force behind these vital policies, which go a long way to secure investment in dementia care and provision for the future. 

Dementia friendly communities continue to be a hot topic, with several countries committing to bringing the program to their own communities in 2014. We hope that in time this will extend to all countries, including low and middle income nations. Dementia knows no economic, geographic or social boundaries, so these commitments mark another crucial step in creating a dementia friendly world, one which recognises dementia as a global health priority.

Here's to another busy and successful year.

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