World Alzheimer's Day - September 21, 2009

Diagnosing Dementia: See It Sooner

The theme for World Alzheimer's Day™ 2009 was 'Diagnosing Dementia: See It Sooner'. In our materials and activities we focused on the importance of getting a diagnosis and encouraging medical professionals to recognise the signs of the disease in order for people to receive the treatment they need.

World Alzheimer's Day is the only day on the calendar that unites members of the global dementia movement across all regions and countries of the world and 2009 was no exception. ADI member associations marked the day with a broad range of activities from colourful and creative to informative and campaign-driven.

Conferences, public forums, exhibitions, memory walks and training sessions were just some of the events organised by members to raise awareness of dementia and to encourage members of the public, medical professionals, and governments to work together to improve recognition and diagnosis. ADI provided posters, bulletins, bookmarks and balloons to members in order to assist in their activities.

Alzheimer's Australia launched a new report 'Dementia: Facing the Epidemic' as part of their Dementia Awareness Week. The report suggests ways to tackle dementia in the country and appeals to the government to invest in improved diagnosis, intervention, prevention and research.

The Gibraltar Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group marked World Alzheimer's Day for the first time by coordinating twelve volunteers to take part in the Pillars of Hercules Marathon Challenge, which saw them sailing to Morocco and back before climbing to the peak of Jebel Tariq, Gibraltar's highest point.

Fundacion Alzheimer Aruba marked the day by hosting their first Alzheimer Social Club and launching their website. They also introduced their pilot programme 'Safe Bed', which hopes to improve the levels of care and comfort experienced by those in care facilities in the country.

World Alzheimer's Day 2009 saw ADI members engaging not only people with dementia, their families and carers, but also younger generations who were able to benefit a great deal from the knowledge of national Alzheimer's associations, while offering new and innovative ideas for raising awareness. In Hungary, hundreds of children from Budapest were invited to join the 'Memory Bridge', holding hands in a 'Live Chain' on the city's famous Chain Bridge. ADI prepared a full report on events that took place around the world.

ADI was proud of all of its members' achievements. ADI is grateful to MetLife Foundation for their support of World Alzheimer's Day 2009, which helped ADI and its members to broaden the reach of both national and international campaigns.

As part of the campaign, ADI produced 'Health notebooks' to help with visits to the doctor.