World Kindness Day

On November 13 it was World Kindness Day, and today, we share an article written by one of o ur new Board members, Dr. David Paulson.  Whilst we are late posting this, we think  it would be wonderful if every day was Kindness Day, as everyone thrives better with kindness.

World Kindness Day

In 1998, World Kindness Day (WKD) was formed as part of the World Kindness Movement, that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement.

WKD promotes kindness throughout the world. It is observed in the USA, Canada, Japan, Italy, India, Australia and the U.A.E. According to National Today, “World Kindness Day presents us with the opportunity to reflect upon one of the most important and human principles. On a day devoted to the positive potential of both large and small acts of kindness, try to promote and diffuse this crucial quality that brings people of every kind together.”

The purpose of World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds in the community, focusing on the common thread of kindness which binds us. It has achieved global attention in the two decades since its inception. Events associated with the day have attracted people from every inhabited continent in the form of concerts, dance mobs, and the distribution of “kindness cards.” The purpose of World Kindness Day is to highlight and encourage good deeds in your community. It also serves as a reminder to all those simple acts of kindness have power, and that together, we can all work to create a kinder world. You may wonder how compassion from one person can make a difference. It isn’t easy to comprehend, but every kind act, even the smallest one, creates a ripple effect you can’t begin to imagine.

The World Kindness Movement launched in Singapore in November 2000. Currently, over 28 countries are a part of the World Kindness Movement group. Observance of World Kindness Day is still unofficial. The World Kindness Movement hopes to obtain official status by the United Nations. If successful, World Kindness Day would join the ranks of recognized days of observance, such as the International Day of Peace, Human Rights Day and World Health Day. In 2019, the World Kindness Movement attained official status as an NGO under Swiss Law.

There are many ways to observe World Kindness Day:

  • Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Tidy up around your house
  • Pick up trash you see on the ground outside and throw it in a garbage can
  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Chat with a stranger and ask them about their day
  • Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal
  • Compliment someone
  • Send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
  • Surprise someone with flowers
  • Tell a family member or friend you love them
  • Write a note on the receipt at a restaurant for your server
  • Offer to help with someone’s errands
  • Give a surprise gift to someone you care about
  • Send a kind card or note to a friend

Source: Inspired Kindness World Kindness Day 2021 Your Complete Guide.

These are but a few of the ways to celebrate WKD.

Dementia Alliance International highlights World Kindness Day as we as an organization reach out to others in kindness to offer education, research findings, pathways to healthy management of dementia and social networking to those who also are living dementia. Our online support groups were founded on kindness and compassion. These values are echoed throughout DAI’s literature and official documents.

Why not reach out and show someone a kindness to help commemorate World Kindness Day!

Let’s all be kind on every day.

“We can’t heal the world today, but we can begin with a voice of compassion, a heart of love, an act of kindness.”  (Mary David)

Dr. David Paulson
DAI Peer to Peer Support Grop Cohost and Board Member


Watch our webinar “Cognition-oriented treatments for people with dementia” on YouTube

Available to watch now is the recording of the September Webinar, Cognition oriented treatments for people with dementia, by by Dr. Alex Bahar-Fuchs and Dr. Loren Mowszowski. It was one of four from our 2021 Dementia Awareness Month series of webinars focused on Rehabilitation for Dementia webinars.

“Cognition-oriented treatments for people with dementia”

This webinar was presented by Dr. Alex Bahar-Fuchs who is a clinical neuropsychologist and an NHMRC senior research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, and Dr. Loren Mowszowski who is a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist and NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow at the University of Sydney.

About this DAI “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar

There are no known effective interventions to stop or reverse the progression of symptoms in people with dementia; however, many treatments are available to slow the process of decline, reduce the impact of cognitive and functional impairment, and improve the day-to-day experience, quality of life and confidence in people living with dementia.

In line with this, several high-quality Clinical Practice Guidelines for dementia rehabilitation around the world predominantly focus on recommendations targeting cognitive and mental functions, and a large body of evidence indicates that cognitively oriented treatments have shown promise in relation to cognitive outcomes. In this presentation, we will discuss the key features and evidence behind three main approaches to cognitively oriented treatments: cognitive training, cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive stimulation therapy.

The presentation included some practical examples of how the techniques underpinning some of these approaches can be used to support day-to-day activities. For health professionals, we propose key factors to consider when planning or implementing cognitively oriented treatments. Finally, the presenters proposed areas requiring future attention in research and clinical practice.

November Research Wrap – Building Bridges – the importance of collaboration in research

This is the second in our re-emerging series of monthly blogs or articles focused on research, and was co-authored by a researcher Jennifer Bethell, and Christine Thelker who is a very active Alumni board member of DAI.

It highlights the importance of including people with dementia as collaborators in research, and supports the recently launched #DAI 2021 Global Report, Valuing the advocacy of people with dementia: moving dementia out of the shadows.

Building Bridges : The Importance of Researchers and Persons with Lived Experience Coming Together

“Patient engagement” is defined by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as meaningful and active collaboration in governance, priority setting, conducting research and knowledge translation – where “patients” include people with personal experience of a health issue and caregivers, including family and friends.1 Other organisations, including in the UK and US, use slightly different terms: patient and public involvement2 or engagement,3 but they all overlap on the importance of involving patients and caregivers. Of course, for dementia, the word “patient” may not always be the best; people living with dementia are many things – they have identities defined by a lifetime of personal and professional relationships and activities – for most, being a “patient” is a relatively small part of that. We try to talk about people with lived experience instead, but also see the need for more formal terminology.

There are a few reasons both researchers and people with lived experience have argued for patient engagement in research. Mostly, it comes down to two things:

  1. It makes for better research – people with lived experience can help researchers figure out how to plan their study in a way that asks the right questions for the greatest impact, is more appealing for prospective participants, collects the most important information and shares the results with more people and in the right way.
  2. It’s the right thing to do – people impacted by the research should have their say in what research is done and how it is done as well as the ways the results should be used.

For research on dementia, there’s another reason: it challenges the stigmas associated with dementia. Stigmas associated with dementia, including public stigma and self-stigma, are major issues worldwide4-9 and can have negative effects on the health and quality of life of people impacted by dementia. Engaging in research helps to challenge negative assumptions about the abilities of people living with dementia.

Whatever the motivations, patient engagement means people with lived experience of dementia are becoming more and more involved in research. No longer just “study subjects”, they are taking on roles as members of the research team, participating in planning, conducting and communicating research. This idea is not new – it’s been common practice in some areas of research for years – but it is still relatively new for research on dementia.10 Fortunately, dementia advocates, researchers and research organisations worldwide are working together to move these ideas forward.

As a person with lived experience, I can remember feeling a sense of intimidation at the very thought of working with a researcher. Having your confidence shattered with diagnosis, the thought of working alongside a researcher seemed out of my realm. I was sure I would have nothing to offer, after all they were at so much of a higher academic level.

In my first venture into research, I was hesitant, scared actually, nervous, apprehensive.  It took me a while to be brave enough to engage and interact. But taking that first step was so important – because I haven’t stopped. I started working with a number of researchers: Kathy McGilton at Toronto Rehab then the TREC (Translating Research into Elder Care) team as one of their Voices members, then with AGEWELL and Noelannah Neubeaur on the Dementia and Wayfinding Project. This brought me to the CCNA (Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging), where I first met Jen Bethell, Ellen Snowball and Carrie McAiney.

Getting involved in research was the start of feeling confident again, feeling I had value and worth, that I could still contribute to this world in meaningful ways.  Working with the researchers I work with now is truly a highlight of life for me. The connection, the friendships that have come from the work we do will last long past the end of a project. I continue to learn from both researchers and other people with lived experience. Understanding the work being done, how things move forward and why enables me to share in my advocacy. I learn each time we meet and enjoy watching the projects come to fruition. Giving researchers insight and the ability to understand the lived experience helps ensure their work can have a positive outcome for those affected by dementia. It creates a great sense of pride in knowing you have helped produce something of great value, work we all can take pride in, and that will still be helping others long after my time is done. I always leave feeling better and having a better day. I leave feeling valued, appreciated and like I am part of a team. I am grateful to work with researchers, I will continue to recommend that more people with lived experience get involved. Let’s keep building bridges, because together it is making a difference for those with the lived experience.

Taking that first step is important. I would recommend people with lived experience get involved with groups like DAI(Dementia Alliance International), DAC (Dementia Advocacy Canada), DAA and others, they will help you find research groups. Don’t be scared to try different research groups till you find the one that fits for you, or maybe several will resonate with you.

As a researcher, I also remember the first project involving people with lived experience. I was intimidated – they were the experts! But I was excited – yes, I believed engaging people with lived experience could make research better and it was the right thing to do. Through this work, I also learned the importance of tackling the stigmas associated with dementia9 and started to think of “patient engagement” in research as one way to do this. From my experience, researchers who want to engage people with lived experience of dementia share these motivations – we are also curious about others’ perspectives, open to new ideas, adaptable when circumstances change and humble about things we don’t know. We want to make research a place where people with lived experience of dementia feel valued, respected and supported.

Through the CCNA, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Christine as well as 16 other people with lived experience of dementia from across Canada. They came together just over a year ago, but the CCNA Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia (EPLED) Advisory Group is already contributing to research grant applications and projects, planning and participating in our annual Science Days and helping to shape the way research is communicated. They’re also influencing my own work and views on dementia and research. But there is much more to be done! If you are a person living with dementia, in Canada, and interested in hearing more about opportunities to get involved in research – please reach out to us.

Christine Thelker is an author, an advocate, Alumni Board Member of DAI (Dementia Alliance International), Recipient of the Richard Taylor Award in 2021, and was diagnosed with Dementia at 56, she is now 62.

Jennifer Bethell is a researcher and co-lead of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia (EPLED) program.


  1. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  2. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  3. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), World Alzheimer Report 2012
  5. Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), World Alzheimer Report 2019
  6. World Health Organisation (WHO), Dementia: a public health priority
  7. Government of Canada, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire
  8. Shah H, Albanese E, Duggan C, Rudan I, Langa KM, Carrillo MC, Chan KY, Joanette Y, Prince M, Rossor M, Saxena S, Snyder HM, Sperling R, Varghese M, Wang H, Wortmann M, Dua T. Research priorities to reduce the global burden of dementia by 2025. Lancet Neurol. 2016 Nov;15(12):1285-1294. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30235-6.
  9. Bethell J, Pringle D, Chambers LW, Cohen C, Commisso E, Cowan K, Fehr P, Laupacis A, Szeto P, McGilton KS. Patient and Public Involvement in Identifying Dementia Research Priorities. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Aug;66(8):1608-1612. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15453.
  10. Bethell J, Commisso E, Rostad HM, Puts M, Babineau J, Grinbergs-Saull A, Wighton MB, Hammel J, Doyle E, Nadeau S, McGilton KS. Patient engagement in research related to dementia: A scoping review. Dementia (London). 2018 Nov;17(8):944-975. doi: 10.1177/1471301218789292.

Check out our list of books, written by people with dementia (soon to be updated!).

Dementia Alliance International (DAI) DONATE OR PARTNER WITH DAI

Webinar: How to Build a Network that supports your Organizational Goals

You are invited to register to attend the DAI “Meeting Of The Minds” November webinar, with Alex D. Tremble.

How to Build a Network that supports your Organizational Goals

Speaker:  Alex D. Tremble

Please note, the login details will be sent to you 2 HOURS before the event starts.


  • Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU) – 3:00 pm CDT
  • Thursday, November 25, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA) – 7:30 am AEST
  • Reminder: this is one event, set in a number of different time zones – it is not being held twice. 

About the Webinar: This webinar is about how a strong network can mean the difference between being invisible and making a difference. Having a strong network can mean the difference between being offered your dream job and continuing to remain invisible when upward opportunities arise. So why don’t most people effectively leverage their network to advance in their careers? It’s because they believe that networking is too hard, not their style, not moral/ethical, or a host of other false beliefs. But, you don’t have to be like most people. During this workshop Alex D. Tremble will share his proven strategies to help you and other motivated leaders around the world:

  • Overcome your fear of networking,
  • Identify where and how to focus your networking efforts, and
  • Choose specific behaviors to implement that will lead you to enjoying a more influential network.

About our speaker:  Alex D. Tremble is an award-winning speaker, author, and leadership expert who has over 10 years of experience coaching and advising some of America’s most senior level government leaders. As the host of The Alex Tremble Show he also brings together successful executives from across the world to provide aspiring leaders with the strategies needed to gain influence and advance in their careers. Alex began his career managing three government-wide senior leadership development programs, and quickly went on to establish the Tremble Influence Academy, while publishing two bestselling books (“Reaching Senior Leadership” and “The GPS Guide to Success”) geared towards helping government leaders gain influence and attain career success.

Alex is a Leadership Center for Excellence 40 under 40 honoree and also serves as the Chief Culture Officer for America’s second largest national conservation corps, American Conservation Experience. Alex is passionate and committed to helping leaders reach their highest potential; personally, and professionally. Alex received his Bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from William Penn University and his Master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Baltimore. Please visit to gain the tools and strategies you need to reach your leadership and career goals.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU)

  • 1:00 pm Pacific PDT
  • 2:00 pm Mountain, MDT
  • 3:00 pm Central, CDT
  • 4:00 pm Eastern, EDT
  • 9:00 pm UK, BST
  • 10:00 pm EU
  • 11:00 pm Johannesburg, SAST

Thursday, 25 November 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA)

  • 5:00 am Singapore SGT/Perth AWST
  • 7:00 am Brisbane, AEST
  • 7:30 am Adelaide, ACDT
  • 8:00 am, Sydney/Melbourne, AEDT
  • 10:00 am Auckland, NZDT

The Webinar runs for up to 1.5 hours.

Please check here if your time is not listed above.


  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Care partners of people with dementia: FREE
  • Researchers: FREE
  • Health Care Professionals: FREE
  • Others: FREE
  • DONATION: $30.00


Support people with dementia


Redressing Abuse and Neglect of People Living with Dementia in Residential Aged Care



The research project ‘Redressing Abuse and Neglect of People Living with Dementia in Residential Aged Care’ is being led by chief investigator of the project Dr Linda Steele fom the University of Technology, and Kate Swaffer, a co founder of DAI who is the associate investigator.

Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is an organisational partner.

We therefore wish to highlight this opportunity to have your say about neglect and abuse of people living with dementia in Australian residential aged care facilities and older people’s mental health facilities (‘residential care’).

Dr Steele is currently seeking participants for the online focus groups.

We are hoping to speak with:

(a) people living with dementia who live in Australia,

(b) care partners and family members of people living with dementia who have experienced abuse or neglect in residential aged care and who live in Australia, and

(c) advocates and lawyers who work in dementia rights, disability rights or older people’s rights who live in Australia.

Here is a brief overview of the project:

Informed by the perspectives and experiences of people living with dementia and their care partners, family members, advocates and lawyers, this project will explore the need to redress (i.e., right the wrongs of) neglect and abuse of people living with dementia in Australian residential aged care facilities and older people’s mental health facilities (‘residential care’). The project will consider why and how to right the wrongs of abuse and neglect and how redress might be supported by the legal profession in order to contribute to justice, healing and closure for the dementia community.

If you would like to participate in this research project or find out more information please email Linda at:

Or visit:

Download the flier here…



Living with dementia – My Life My Goals Workbook

Image source: Emily Ong

DAI is pleased to announce a recent Alzheimer’s Society UK publication called Living with Dementia: My Life, My Goals. DAI board member Emily Ong from Singapore was one of the team of people living with dementia who collaborated on it.

DAI is proud of the work Emily is doing locally, and globally for all people with dementia.  Thank you Emily, and thanks also to all of the contributors to this important workbook.

Living with Dementia: My Life, My Goals

There is hope that you can live well. A practical guide full of hope to help you set your goals.





Abstract submissions for the 35th ADI 2022 Conference close soon


Join ADI for the 35th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International on 8-10 June 2022, in London and online.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is proud to play host to the longest running international conference on dementia, attracting over 1,000 delegates from all corners of the world. The conference boasts an international range of keynote speakers and oral and poster presenters, whose talks report on the latest advances in each of the 7 action areas of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global action plan on dementia.

With a high standard of scientific and non-scientific content, the conference programme appeals to a broad audience ranging from medical professionals and researchers to informal carers and people living with dementia.

We strongly encourage members of DAI and others living with dementia to submit an abstract, to ensure the voices of dementia are well represented.

If you would like DAI to assist you with writing an abstract, or submitting it, please contact us by email: [email protected]

Check out the Program Overview here!


ADI have also produced a series of videos, where you can find an overview of the ADI 2022 conference programme, as well as abstract topics to choose from, from ADI CEO Paola Barbarino; how to write and submit a successful abstract with hints and tips from Research and Policy Project Lead Wendy Weidner, and an easy to follow guide on submitting an abstract through the ADI conference website with Jane Cziborra, Head of Events.

In line with the hybrid format of our 35th global conference, taking place both online and in-person in London, UK, applicants will have the option to select on their submission form whether they would prefer to present in-person or online.

People with dementia may also contact ADI for assistance, and for a word document submission form to write and submit your abstract.

Donate to or Partner with DAI today.


Monthly Research Topic – Brain health

We are pleased to recommence a series of monthly blogs, focused on a research topic or theme, and wish to thank PhD candidate Laura Garcia Diaz for writing the first one, and our Brain Health is so important, with or without a diagnosis of dementia!

Many of you will  know DAI hosts a twice monthly Brian health meeting, which is open for anyone to attend, so please contact us if you’d like to join to the mailing list for notifications about these meetings. DAI also hosts a Brain Health group on Facebook, and has a Brain Health Hub on our website.

Let’s talk about brain health 
By Laura Diaz Garcia © 2021

Your brain never sleeps. It is constantly helping you do the things that are important to you. Whether that is making a meal, going on a walk with a friend, or reading a blog about brain health, your brain is always working behind the scenes. The brain does a lot of work for us!

That is why it is so important to think about brain health.

There is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making key lifestyle changes(Livingston et al., 2020):

Be physically active

Exercise increases blood flow to your brain, nourishing your brain cells with nutrients and oxygen. Regular exercise is also good for your heart and can help reduce stress and improve your mood. In a recent study, researchers found that high levels (over 150minutes per week) of physical activity in mid-life is associated with better brain health in later life (Palta et al., 2021). Physical activity can take many forms including walking, dancing, gardening, and playing with children.

Be socially active

There is good evidence that staying connected with your friends, family and other community members is good for your brain health. When we are socializing we are constantly using our brain to help us understand what others are saying, expressing ourselves, laughing, and staying engaged in conversations. In a recent study, researchers found that individuals who reported greater levels of social engagement had more gray matter in the brain (Felix et al., 2021). Gray matter supports memory, emotions and movement control. Social engagement can take many forms including volunteering, attending a religious service and going out for dinner with a friend.

Be cognitively active

Challenge your brain! When we follow a routine, we start doing things without thinking much about them. Just as exercising can help improve your cardiovascular health and body strength, challenging your brain can help engage new or rarely-used mental pathways. Researchers have found that adults 65 years and older who read, play games, speak a second language, or play music have better cognition than those who do not (Chan et al., 2018; Lee et al., 2018). Challenging your brain means trying out something new, such as learning a new language or using your non-dominant hand to write notes, and doing it regularly. To help you do something challenging regularly, try finding a challenging activity that you enjoy.

Follow a healthy diet

The food that we eat is the fuel that our body, including our brain, uses to help us do the things that are important to us. That is why it is important to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. A healthy diet can support our overall health, including our brain health. Although no specific diet has been found to be the best for the brain, the impact of the MIND and Mediterranean diets on brain health are being studied with promising results (Hosking et al., 2018; Petersson & Philippou, 2016). These diets recommend regular consumption of vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and legumes. It is also recommended to limit process foods, sweets, dairy and meat.

Some of the things mentioned in this blog, such as staying physically active, may have been harder to do during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The COVID-19 lockdowns illustrate how sometimes engaging in brain healthy activities may not be possible because of our environment.

Although at the personal level there are a lot of things that we can do to support our brain health, it is important to advocate for safe public spaces for physical activity, affordable nutritious food, and community programs that encourage social interaction. Educating ourselves about brain health is an important first step. Advocating for policies and environments that support healthy choices is also important to ensure that all community members have access to services and programs that will encourage and support healthy choices.

There is no evidence that there is a single thing that you can do that will benefit your brain health the most. However, the research shows that taking small steps to protect our brain health can make a difference, so find several things that you enjoy and try to stick to them!

Reading blogs such as thisis one way to remain cognitively active. What else will you be doing today to for your brain health? Is there anything that you could do to support the brain health of your friends and family?

Let’s keep the conversation going!


Donate or Partner with DAI today


Chan, D., Shafto, M., Kievit, R., Matthews, F., Spink, M., Valenzuela, M., & Henson, R. N. (2018). Lifestyle activities in mid-life contribute to cognitive reserve in late-life, independent of education, occupation, and late-life activities. Neurobiology of Aging, 70, 180–183.

Felix, C., Rosano, C., Zhu, X., Flatt, J. D., & Rosso, A. L. (2021). Greater Social Engagement and Greater Gray Matter Microstructural Integrity in Brain Regions Relevant to Dementia. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(6), 1027–1035.

Hosking, D. E., Eramudugolla, R., Cherbuin, N., & Anstey, K. J. (2018). MIND not Mediterranean diet related to 12-year incidence of cognitive impairment in an Australian longitudinal cohort study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Lee, A. T. C., Richards, M., Chan, W. C., Chiu, H. F. K., Lee, R. S. Y., & Lam, L. C. W. (2018). Association of Daily Intellectual Activities With Lower Risk of Incident Dementia Among Older Chinese Adults. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(7), 697.

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. B., Ogunniyi, A., … Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. In The Lancet (Vol. 396, Issue 10248, pp. 413–446). Lancet Publishing Group.

Palta, P., Sharrett, A. R., Gabriel, K. P., Gottesman, R. F., Folsom, A. R., Power, M. C., Evenson, K. R., Jack, C. R., Knopman, D. S., Mosley, T. H., & Heiss, G. (2021). Prospective Analysis of Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Midlife and Beyond and Brain Damage on MRI in Older Adults. Neurology, 96(7), e964–e974.

Petersson, S. D., & Philippou, E. (2016). Mediterranean Diet, Cognitive Function, and Dementia: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Advances in Nutrition, 7(5), 889–904.


DAI Board Announces Resignation of CEO Kate Swaffer

The DAI Board Announces Resignation of CEO Kate Swaffer

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces Ms. Kate Swaffer’s resignation as Chief Executive Officer of Dementia Alliance International, effective October 30, 2021.

Kate Swaffer is one of the eight co-founders of Dementia Alliance International (DAI), and our long serving former Chair, current CEO and board member of the organization. She has been instrumental in taking the membership from three to 49 countries.

In her years of dedicated service to the organizational mission of “Nothing about Us, Without Us”, DAI was granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the  United Nations, and has worked closely with the World Health Organization, the NCD Alliance, The World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, the International Disability Alliance  where she secured Observer Membership for DAI, and she is still a board member of Alzheimer’s Disease International and has been a full member of the World Dementia Council, and worked with many other local, national and global organizations. 

Kate’s inspiring leadership and warm friendship have not only left a lasting impression on everyone within the organization as well as the new Board Members and the global dementia community, but a permanent legacy at Dementia Alliance International. 

Kate was eligible to serve on the DAI Board, as per the current DAI By Laws, until December 2021 but due to personal reasons, needed to step down sooner. Over the past 18 months, Kate has put in much effort not only to ensure the work she and the other 7 co-founders set out to do, continues, but more importantly, that the services and support DAI provides to and for our members and the dementia community will continue seamlessly. 

We are fortunate to have had this length of time for a transition period, and while we will miss her dynamic presence, enthusiasm, and leadership at the Board meetings, we wish her the best of health and to have more time for her other advocacy pursuits, and for herself and her family.

Kate commenced her advocacy work in 2009, and in 2010 was invited by the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, Glenn Rees (now Dementia Australia), to give a speech representing people with dementia, at the first Parliamentary Rally ever held in Australia. She also founded the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Advisory Committee in Australia, which held its first meeting in Canberra during World Alzheimer’s Month in September 2013. Kate was the inaugural Chair, and served her full term of four years, stepping back into the role for a few months until a new Chair and Vice Chair were found. 

Glenn Rees stepped down as the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia to take on the Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) more than six years ago, so has therefore worked with Kate in two roles, first as the CEO of Dementia Australia, then as Chair of ADI.  Glenn said,

“I have had the privilege of working with Kate for over more than twelve years. In all that time she has single-mindedly pursued the rights of people with dementia without fear or favour. There are so many achievements – the leadership of the National Consumer Committee in Alzheimer’s Australia, the excellence of many presentations, the publications, the capacity to communicate via social media and presence on so many committees both governmental and in the NGO sector. But in the end, it is the values that drive an advocate that count and for integrity, generosity and commitment Kate has few peers – except those she herself would always generously acknowledge such as Richard Taylor. Climbing mountains has been Kate’s specialty and perhaps the pinnacle was addressing the Ministerial Conference on Dementia in 2015 – the human rights of people with dementia were put on the international agenda. The dementia movement in Australia and internationally have cause to be grateful to Kate.” 

DAI’s long serving volunteer, Sarah Yeates who is the Chief Executive Officer at the Caladenia Dementia Care, wrote,

Dear Kate, as someone who works in the field of dementia and has a passion for better outcomes for people living with dementia, I just wanted you to know what a difference you have made for me personally and for so many of my colleagues. Your willingness to call out injustice and apathy, not only locally but on the global stage pushes professionals like myself to do better, strive higher, and believe that there is always more to be done. You have taught me so much, and I continue to learn. Because of your work, my own has greater meaning, and hopefully is grounded in truly person-centred principles. On a personal level I thank you for your friendship over the many years we have worked together and promise that one day… we will have that glass of wine together!! Thank you for all you have taught me. All the very best to you and your family, and I look forward to continuing to work with you wherever I can be of assistance!! Lots of love, Sarah xx

In her own words, Kate said, 

“It is time for the new team to take the reins, and lead DAI into the direction its members want. I will always be happy to provide mentorship, and advice as requested to the board, and to members. The greatest professional work I have ever done, has been to support people diagnosed with any type of dementia, and I will continue to do this as a co-host of the DAI Peer to Peer support groups.

The fear and loneliness I experienced when first diagnosed, mostly due to the stigma and attitudes of others, was truly devastating, and the DAI peer to peer support groups helped, and continue to help our members get back to living more positively. No one person can do this work alone, and everything I have achieved, is because of the collaboration, hard work and support of the members and the current and past boards, and of so many others including DAI members. They all continue to inspire me.”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead


10 Guiding Principles for movement training in degenerative neurological conditions

Get ready, get set, GO… Register now for the next DAI Webinar!

10 Guiding principles for movement training in degenerative neurological conditions

Speaker: Professor James McLoughlin, BAppSc(Physio),MSc(Clinical Neuroscience), PhD

Please note, the login details will be sent to you 2 HOURS before the event starts.


  • Wednesday, October 27, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU) – 4:00 pm CDT
  • Thursday, October 28, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA) – 8:00 am AEDT
  • Reminder: this is one event, set in a number of different time zones – it is not being held twice.

About the Webinar: Categorising the many active ingredients that can be included in a physical rehabilitation program remains a huge challenge for health professionals and researchers. The 10 guiding principles aim to provide a common language to help everyone – most of all the people engaged in rehabilitation! James will outline 10 important principles which should be considered when planning a rehabilitation program in those with degenerative neurological conditions.

About our speaker: James is director of Advanced Neuro Rehab in Adelaide South Australia where he works clinically as neurological physiotherapist. James is also part-time Associate Professor at Flinders University working as teaching specialist in Neurological Physiotherapy. James has an interest in movement recovery and rehabilitation with people with all neurological conditions, in addition to those with balance/dizziness.

Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

  • 2:00 pm Pacific PDT
  • 3:00 pm Mountain, MDT
  • 3:00 pm Mountain, MDT
  • 4:00 pm Central, CDT
  • 5:00 pm Eastern, EDT
  • 10:00 pm UK, BST
  • 11:00 pm Johannesburg, SAST

Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

  • 5:00 am Singapore SGT/Perth AWST
  • 7:00 am Brisbane, AEST
  • 7:30 am Adelaide, ACDT
  • 8:00 am, Sydney/Melbourne, AEDT
  • 10:00 am Auckland, NZDT

The Webinar runs for up to 1.5 hours.

Please check here if your time is not listed above.


  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Care partners of people with dementia: FREE
  • Researchers: FREE
  • Health Care Professionals: FREE
  • Others: FREE
  • DONATION: $30.00


Support people with dementia: