Category Archives: Dementia Alliance International

13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

The 13th session of the Convention of State Parties (CoSP) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disbilities (CRPD) will take place this year on 30 November 2020 (in-person meetings: Opening and the election of the CRPD Committee members), 1 and 3 December 2020 (virtual meetings: roundtable discussions, the interactive dialogue with the UN system and the closing). This was originally scheduled to be held in New York in June, but was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 13th session of the Convention of State Parties (CoSP) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disbilities (CRPD).

1. Overview
The 13th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was scheduled to take place from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 June 2020 at UN Headquarters in New York. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the conference will now be postponed to the second week of December 2020. A Civil Society CRPD Forum will be held the day prior to complement the Conference. For more information on the 13th session, please click here.

2. Themes and sub-themes
Over-arching theme: A decade of action and delivery for inclusive sustainable development: implementing the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for all persons with disabilities.

Subthemes for the three roundtables

  • Disability and business: realizing the right to work in open, inclusive and accessible environments for persons with disabilities.
  • Addressing the rights and needs of older persons with disabilities: ageing and demographic trends
  • Promoting Inclusive environments for the full implementation of the CRPD

Cross-cutting theme: Strengthening capacity- building to fully implement the CRPD and the SDGs for persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities. (Addressing the Beijing+ 25th and other relevant commemorations of the historical benchmarks in the global agenda this year).

Although DAI is not hosting a Side Event this year, we are pleased to be a co sponsors of an important session, which has been organized by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and Human Rights Watch.

Virtual Side Event during the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD.

Our rights under threat as we grow old:  A timely expert discussion on the intersection of disability and age 

Background 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed in tragic ways the combined effects of ageism and ableism on the rights of older persons with disabilities. Both groups ‚Äď older persons with or without disabilities, and persons with disabilities regardless of their age – have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Older persons with disabilities have been hit the hardest.¬†

Pre-existing barriers have both been magnified by the crisis and mirrored in the response. Older persons, persons with disabilities, especially those living in congregate settings, were identified early in the pandemic as persons at particular risk. Yet, the long-term care sector generally, and residential care in particular, have been largely overlooked in the preparedness and response measures. This resulted in the neglect, abuse, and high rates of death of older people in residential care as well as interruption of essential services for older people living at home. 

As a result of Covid-19 related lockdowns, older people with disabilities face restrictions to their freedom of movement as well as barriers to food, healthcare, employment, support in tasks of daily living, and emotional connection. These barriers are magnified for those living in areas of armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies. 

Going forward, it is essential to use the lessons of the crisis to better protect the rights of older persons with disabilities. This includes addressing the chronic neglect of long-term support services and residential care while prioritizing person-centred, integrated, community approaches that put people and their dignity front and centre. 

A rights-based approach to ageing and disability also calls for addressing discrimination and empowering people to meaningfully participate in the decisions that affect them. 

Rationale 

The UN Independent Expert (IE) on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, Ms. Claudia Mahler, dedicated her first thematic report to the impact of COVID-19 on older persons. Her findings and recommendations to States are particularly relevant to older persons with disabilities, including those living in residential care settings. 

The newly appointed Special Rapporteur (SR) on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Gerard Quinn has published recently on the lessons to be learned from the drafting of the UN disability treaty for a possible UN treaty on the rights of older persons as well as on autonomy and legal capacity for older persons. His current research interests include theories of personhood and new technology intersectionality between age and disability and extreme poverty and disability. 

The event 

This event will include a dynamic high-level moderated discussion between the two UN experts and an interactive discussion with the audience. Issues to be discussed include: 

  • Key gaps and challenges in the protection of the rights of older persons with disabilities as exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic¬†
  • Overlaps and distinctions in the protection of the rights of older persons and the rights of persons with disabilities¬†
  • Can the CRPD respond to the needs and rights of all older persons?¬†
  • Main lessons from the CRPD process for the UN Open-ended Group on Ageing on the protection of the human rights of older persons¬†

Speakers: 

  • Mr. Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities¬†
  • Ms. Claudia Mahler, UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons¬†
  • Ms. Kate Swaffer, Chair, CEO & Co-founder, Dementia Alliance International (DAI)¬†

Moderator: Bethany Brown, Human Rights Advisor, International Disability Alliance (IDA) 

Interactive discussion to follow 

Organized by: International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and Human Rights Watch, in partnership with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Programme on Ageing. 

Cosponsors: AGE Platform Europe, AARP, Dementia Alliance International, The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People, HelpAge International, International Disability Alliance, International Longevity Center Global Alliance, NGO Committee on Ageing Geneva, NGO Committee on Ageing NY, International Federation on Ageing, and the Association for Women’s Career Development in Hungary. 

CLICK HERE to REGISTER. 

Download the Side Event flier here
Download the Concept note here

If you have any questions please contact the convenor, INPEA at [email protected]

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the General Assembly by its resolution 61/106 of 13 December 2006. It came into force on 3 May 2008 upon the 20th ratification.¬†Article 40 of the Convention stipulates that ‚ÄúThe States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.‚Ä̬†Since 2008, 12 sessions of the Conference of States Parties have been held at United Nations Headquarters, New York.

 

DAI Webinar: Delirium: cause for concern?

You are invited to register now for DAI’s¬†November “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar:

Title: Delirium: Cause for Concern?

Presented by: Dr. Shibley Rahman, QS PhD MRCP (UK) LLM MBA, Special advisor in disability, NHS Practitioner Health


  • Wednesday, November 25, 2020 (USA/CA/UK/EU)
  • Thursday, November 26, 2020 (AU/NZ/Asia)
  • Please note this is one event, set in a number of different time zones.

About the Webinar: Delirium is a common phenomenon in individuals with pre-existing dementia. It is now thought even possibly to accelerate cognitive decline. Known for its abrupt effect on individuals, as a sudden change in personality and behaviour, with marked cognitive change in attention, it is distressing to watch as a carer, and distressing to experience as a patient. It is important to identify, however, as it is a significant common medical emergency. It is important to be cognisant about its existence in all care settings, including domiciliary and residential care. This seminar will consider what delirium is, how and why it should be identified, what are its consequences, as well as considering contemporary aspects of care and research. It will also consider its wider significance in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register here…

 

About Dr. Shibley Rahman: Dr Shibley Rahman is a carer for a mother with dementia. He is also an experienced academic in geriatric long-term conditions, especially dementia, delirium and frailty. He graduated from Cambridge in 2001 with a first, where he also did his Ph.D. in dementia, with ground-breaking research on the diagnosis of behavioural variant frontotemporal, dementia. He is also a trained academic lawyer, from London, and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London. He currently works improving the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce, as a special advisor in disability.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 (USA/CA/UK/EU):

  • 12:30 pm Pacific
  • 1:30 pm Mountain
  • 2:30 pm Central
  • 3:30 pm Eastern
  • 8:30 pm London/Glasgow/Dublin UK
  • 9:30 pm Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, EU

Thursday, November 26, 2020 ( AU/NZ/ASIA):

  • 4:30 am Perth, AU/Taipei/Singapore
  • 6:30 am Brisbane, AU
  • 7:00 am Adelaide, AU
  • 7:30 am Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra/Tasmania/Brisbane, AU
  • 9:30 am Auckland, NZ

The Webinar runs for up to 1.5 hours.

Check your time if not listed above with this link.

COST TO ATTEND:

  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Care partners of DAI Memers: FREE
  • Healthcare professionals: FREE
  • Researchers: FREE
  • General public: FREE

Register here…

YOUR DONATIONS SUPPORT US IN MANY WAYS:

  • $US 5.00 covers the average cost of one of our monthly bank fees
  • $US 120.00 covers the average monthly cost of the MailChimp subscription
  • $US 200.00 covers the cost of our monthly Zoom subscription fee
  • $US 300.00 covers the current cost of 3 months of website management fees

PLEASE DONATE TO DAI OR BECOME AN ASSOCIATE OR PARTNER. WITHOUT OUR SUPPORT, DAI COULD NOT PROVIDE THE FREE SERVICES WE PROVIDE CURRENTLY FOR MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES & THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.

Support people with dementia:

THANK YOU

Press Release: DAI receives ECOSOC status with the United Nations

Press Release: DAI receives consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the  United Nations.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development ‚Äď economic, social and environmental.

It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits.

The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations.

DAI is very proud to have now received ECOSOC status with the United Nations(2020).

What does ECOSOC do?

ECOSOC brings people and issues together to promote collective action for a sustainable world.  At the centre of the UN development system, they conduct cutting-edge analysis, agree on global norms and advocate for progress. Their collective solutions advance sustainable development.
We attach a portion of the letter, for your reference:

Human rights as a practice model in residential aged care, by Daniella Greenwood

DAI’s September Webinar on “Human rights as a practice model in residential aged care“, is presented by International dementia consultant Daniella Greenwood, who has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1), a Bachelor of Health Science (Leisure & Health/Therapeutic Recreation) and a Diploma of Diversional Therapy.

DAI is honoured to have had Daniella present on this very important topic to our audience.

About the webinar: Paternalism structures the lives of people living with dementia in residential/long-term care and diminishes their status as equal citizens. Person-centred and relationship-centred approaches have failed to address the deeply embedded philosophical and operational influence of the medical/institutional model and paternalistic assumptions. People living with dementia in these institutions continue to be treated as patients rather than as adult citizens, exposing them to regular, unchallenged and often casual breaches of their human rights justified as ‚Äėbest interests‚Äô or as ‚Äėinterventions‚Äô to manage what are commonly referred to as the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia.

The focus on ‚Äėculture change‚Äô has further obscured our urgent obligation to address the blatant and often state-sanctioned human rights breaches in residential/long-term care – which in any other care context would be regarded as profoundly unjust and, in many instances, illegal. A human rights lens is applied with practical examples outlining the possibility of creating an environment of recognition and true respect in long-term care through solidarity in aligning operations, attitudes, practices and processes with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

About Daniella Greenwood: Daniella an international consultant, speaker and published author specialising in human rights policy and practice in long-term care. Her dissertation looked at human rights practice as it relates to citizen residents living in the later stages of dementia. She has presented her work to federal parliamentarians and as a keynote speaker including for Alzheimer’s Disease International in 2015 and Dementia Action Alliance in 2019. Daniella is also a musician who has composed and performed music to accompany some of Kate Swaffer’s poetry.

About DAI: Dementia Alliance International (DAI is a non-profit group of people with dementia from around the world seeking to represent, support, and educate others living with the disease that it is possible to live more positively than advised with dementia. It is an organization that promotes a unified voice of strength, advocacy and support in the fight for individual autonomy, improved quality of life, and for the human and legal rights of all with dementia and their families.

Membership of, and services provided by Dementia Alliance International is FREE, and open to anyone with a diagnosis of any type of dementia.

Join DAI here: www.joindai.org Read our newsletters or regular blogs, by subscribing here: www.dementiaallianceinternational.org

Since you’re here… we’re asking viewers like you to support our members, by donating to our organization. With more than 50 million people living with dementia, and the Coronavirus pandemic causing everyone to operate in a virtual world, our work has never been more important. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to our work of supporting people diagnosed with any type of dementia to live more positively, and with a greater sense of hope.

Donating or partnering with us will make a difference to the lives of people with dementia.

Thank you.

Dementia care & palliative care webinar: during and beyond COVID-19

DAI is pleased to highlight a panel presentation by DAI Board member, Christine Thelker from Canada,  at an important webinar on dementia and palliative care during COVID and beyond. Thank you Christine, for speaking up for all of us.

All of the presentations and discussions were not only informative, they were extremely enlightening. Christine’s speech comes in at 4:40 mins in the video recording of the session:

Download Christine’s slides here, and read her speech notes from the¬†ADIHelpAgeIntWHPCA Palliative Care Webinar below:

Dementia, Palliative Care and COVID-19

Slide 1: I would like to start by thanking ADI, for the invitation to offer my reflections on this important topic, and congratulate you on hosting this important webinar.

Slide 2: The topics I will cover today are

  • Palliative Care
  • Advanced Care Directive
  • The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic

Slide 3: DAI COVID-19 graphic of services, for reference.

For people with dementia like myself, we have been facing serious discrimination in terms of being denied health care, and  we are definitely never offered Palliative Care until the very end stage, this was and is the case long before Covid 19.

You can see that DAI have been very proactive in terms of providing support for people with dementia during the pandemic, and this slide highlights our support.

Because palliative care is based on individual needs, the services offered will differ. I have lived experience of palliative care, for myself, and for members of my family, and past professional experience working on Demetia units in Long Term Care in the nursing feild.

Since the covid pandemic, many people have not been able to access palliative care, and are therefore being denied adequate relief of pain or other symptoms of illness such as nausea and vomiting and others.

Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home, Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues,Links to other services such as home help and financial support.

Support for people to meet cultural obligations, Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns, as well as Counselling and grief support for them and their families has also been missing.

Many people are in fact, dying alone.

Slide 4:  I am more frightened by the thought of ending up in any type of care than I ever have been of my dementia itself. As an advocate, I don’t just want to feel good about what I am doing, I want tangible change.

We are facing even more stigma and isolation since the covid pandemic, as are most older people.

Palliative care helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, it identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social.

As Kate Swaffer says:¬†‚ÄúPeople with-OUT dementia are not used to enforced isolation, or social and physical distancing,¬†while people with dementia experience it from the day we dare to share our diagnosis.‚ÄĚ

Isolation, stigma, discrimination and distancing (social and physical) are the daily realities of most people living with dementia.

We are all facing increased difficulties due to limited access not only to equipment, in home support, equipment including PPE, and health care including palliative care.

More people over 80 have died from covid, without access to Palliative Care, and without the support of their families, due to the restrictions imposed upon health care systems and society in general.

Covid 19 has highlighted that a great many people are experiencing personal signs of distress. This is a normal human responses to the pandemic, but one which has highlighted that people with dementia are having¬†normal human responses or signs of distress to the changes forced on them by dementia ‚Äď rather than BPSD.

Related to palliative care, is Advance care planning, which is more important than ever in these uncertain times. In the months ahead,thousands of people will face the prospect of becoming suddenly and seriously unwell. Distressingly, they will probably have to face being denied health care.

I’m concerned that many people do not have an Advanced Care Directive, mainly because they don’t understand that just because we tell our people what we want does not mean that will happen if its not on a legal document. and many people over 65 are without an Advance Care Directive, creates  serious and probmatic issues as we face the impact of the COVID pandemic.

An Advance Care Directive is important as nearly 50 percent of people who become ill, will not be able to make their own end of life medical decisions at this very difficult time in history,  although it may make no difference at this point as the elderly and infirmed, including people with dementia are being denied medical care.

This is an all too real, sad and sobering thought.

Again, this highlights yet another area we have failed our most vulnerable.

Slide 5: This slide highlights the services available from Dementia Alliance International. In closing, I want remind you of my quote from earlier that clearly states how I feel:

‚ÄúI am more frightened by the thought of ending up in any type of care than I ever have been of my dementia itself‚ÄĚ.

THANK YOU.

About Christine Thelker:  Christine is a board  member of Dementia Alliance international having served as one for a number of years now. She also co-hosts a  number of peer to peer support groups. She is from Vernon British Columbia Canada, and describes herself as bright, fun and adventurous. Who at 59 says, her sense of humour has grown, since her diagnosis. Widowed at 47 and then diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Cerebrovascular Disease at 56. Christine worked for Interior Health Authority for 13 years in various sites, most loved work was in Dementia Care and End of Life Care. It was here that she felt she did her best work.

Advocating for families and Patients, advocating for better training for workers working in Dementia Care, and although she says things still have not changed, she is hopeful with more people using their voices the changes will happen. She knows firsthand how people‚Äôs abilities are stripped instead of embraced and advocating is the only way to make change happen. She also advocated for better working environments for the workers. In June 2020, Christine‚Äôs first book was published, For This I Am Grateful, and she continues to advocate and write about the need for a human rights approach to dementia. Christine’s motto since diagnosis is ‚ÄúI‚Äôm not done yet‚ÄĚ.

Dementia Innovation Readiness Index 2020

Expert panel launch the the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index 2020: 30 Global Cities.

Cities Around the World Need to Prepare for Innovations in Dementia, according to a New Report from the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Lien Foundation.

Partners launched the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index to Challenge Cities to Develop and Adopt Innovations Across the Global Dementia Community, on October 8, 2020.

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), in partnership with Singapore’s Lien Foundation, presented findings from the 2020 Dementia Innovation Readiness Index showing that cities have largely failed to support innovation in dementia comprehensively, though bright spots exist. 

By mid-century, the number of those aged 65 or older set to double, and nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas, up from just over half today. The number of older people in cities is growing faster than in rural areas, according to the OECD. 

Given these shifts across society, the need for local leadership to address dementia is clear, yet the Index findings suggest that cities around the world have not fully leveraged opportunities to support the development or adoption of innovations in dementia care, treatment and support and should take a leadership role in dementia innovation readiness. Rated on a 0-10 scale, the top five performing cities in the Index overall were London (8.4), Glasgow (7.8), Manchester (7.7), Amsterdam (7.5), and Vancouver (7.5). Top-performing cities tend to be in high-income countries with some level of nationalized healthcare, and a national plan in place that helps to promote innovation at the city-level. 

Among the 30 cities profiled, assessments reveal that London and Glasgow lead in strategy and commitment and community support for individuals living with dementia, as local associations play a pivotal role in the formation of the national response on dementia. 

‚ÄúThis year‚Äôs Dementia Innovation Readiness Index establishes the foundation for high impact, action-oriented initiatives to promote collective action from governments, industry, NGOs, academics and other leaders,‚ÄĚ said Michael W. Hodin, PhD, CEO, GCOA. ‚ÄúCities must rise to the challenge presented by global aging and build the capacity and opportunity to improve health outcomes for people living with dementia because they are at the forefront of innovation in their communities.‚Ä̬†

Measured against 26 indicators and across five categories, including strategy and commitment, early detection and diagnosis, access to care, community support, and business environment, findings revealed that while leadership is present throughout the global community to meet the overwhelming demands for quality dementia care, significant gaps persist. 

‚ÄúThe Index gives us a snapshot of how prepared some of our major cities are to embrace dementia innovation,‚ÄĚ said Paola Barbarino, CEO, ADI. ‚ÄúDuring COVID-19 we have seen how important cities have been in managing the pandemic. With their large concentration of population, cities have an opportunity and a challenge to drive best practice. From a policy perspective, the Index provides a call to action for local and national governments to drive policies to better the lives of those affected by dementia and their loved ones.‚Ä̬†

The Index’s main findings include: 

  • Cities must take charge to execute against national dementia plans. Tasking ministries, agencies, civil servants, or other permanent policy bodies with implementing a plan at the local level can help to ensure dementia remains front-and-center, even as political leadership changes, and when plans are backed by adequate funding, they are a key enabler of dementia innovation.¬†
  • ‚ÄĘ Cities must advocate for flexible and transparent funding models enabling regions and cities to adapt national programs and frameworks to local contexts.¬†
  • ‚ÄĘ Cities need to know where they stand with regard to the number of people in the community living with dementia. Accurate, early diagnosis can help to ensure that people living with dementia are able to access high-quality care; that the progression of their disease is appropriately managed and monitored; and that they will be able to expediently access innovations in treatment and care as they become available.
  • National-level efforts to improve diagnosis rates for dementia should be aligned with the local community. One of the most common misconceptions about dementia is that it is simply a normal part of aging, and cities must be ready to deploy population-specific messaging, screening tools, and other resources that are adaptable to the diverse communities residing there.¬†
  • Post-diagnostic support is a highly localized but under-addressed opportunity for cities. City stakeholders can collaborate across the medical, social, and policy fields to ensure that locally tailored post-diagnostic support is in place and that healthcare professionals and other community service providers have the knowledge and training to connect people with relevant programs.¬†
  • Local governments and service providers must ensure that there is a sufficient supply of affordable and high-quality community-based care providers ‚ÄĒ including day care, respite care, and in-home care ‚ÄĒ so that people living with dementia are able to access needed resources. In areas where the care workforce is insufficient to adequately support people living with dementia, local stakeholders can help to build the workforce through training, increased access to educational and vocational services, as well as immigration, thus creating local jobs while solving for the impending care crisis.¬†
  • Cities should engage and fully leverage non-profit Alzheimer‚Äôs and dementia associations as experts in the community.¬†
  • Dementia-friendly principles are the tools and practices that make an organization, community, or society-at-large more accessible and livable for people with dementia, but they also enhance cities and improve quality of life for all citizens.¬†
  • Cities have a role in enabling new and existing funding models for dementia research. For example, venture capital funding (through organizations like the Dementia Discovery Fund) and social impact bonds by cities can spur innovation. Such efforts will serve as a catalyst for breakthrough research and offset the perceived risk brought by slow therapeutic progress and growing investor hesitancy toward dementia.¬†

The Index also identifies examples of leading practices ‚Äď in cities large and small, developed and developing ‚Äď across the five key areas of the Index, which can serve as a model for others in the global community.¬†

‚ÄúAging and urbanization are the twin defining trends of our time,‚ÄĚ said Radha Basu, Research Director, Lien Foundation. ‚ÄúAs societies age and dementia becomes more common, this Index issues a clear call to city-level leaders and help cities learn from each other on how to best manage this great, global challenge to health and social care.‚Ä̬†

Insights from the Index were informed by input from interviews and surveys with global key opinion leaders and subject matter experts (including scientists, advocates, researchers, clinicians, business leaders, and people living with dementia). As well as 

secondary research that was gathered from global authorities including ADI, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Health Organization, and other publicly available sources. 

Click here to read the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index 2020: 30 Global Cities.

World Mental Health Day October 10 Virtual Event

The 2020 WHO Mental Health Forum #12 took place online on October 8. It provided an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to get an overview of mental health aspects of COVID-19 and the challenges and opportunities it has brought to mental health, both globally and locally. COVID-19 has exposed the limitations of existing mental health systems and has made it clear that we cannot maintain the status quo. Our Chair represented DAI at this important forum.

The theme for the 2020 Mental Health Forum was the changing landscape of global mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This theme reflected the urgent need for action on mental health as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. At the forum, speakers discussed:

  • Global and¬†country-level actions by governments
  • civil¬†society and academia to respond to mental
  • neurological and substance use needs¬†during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advocates and policymakers across the globe showed that mental health can never be in the shadows and should be in the center of any emergency and post-emergency, recovery response. During the forum this year, we will review the progress in positioning mental health in COVID-19 response agenda and beyond. We learned about ongoing and new initiatives and discuss ways to enhance action in countries.

They also discussed a wide range of COVID-19 Mental Health products and actions developed and implemented by WHO and partners to support affected people. Speakers also discussed how WHO and inter-agency tools are supporting the implementation of mental health interventions in different age groups and across different settings, and how we can do better together.

The current pandemic has made evident that reliance on outdated mental health systems is no longer an option. Promising initiatives by countries and agencies have shown that it is feasible to make a difference through innovation during the most challenging times.

Following the forum, this invitation was received to get involved on World Mental Health Day:

Message sent on behalf of Ms Dévora Kestel, Director, WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use

Dear WHO Mental Health Forum 2020 Participant,

 

On World Mental Health Day, WHO will be hosting, for the first time, an online global advocacy event on mental health. Join WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, national and international leaders and celebrity guests to talk about what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it. During the 3-hour event, video features will be interspersed with personal testimonies and performances from celebrities and advocates from around the world.

 

How to get involved

 

 

 

Join our social media campaign 

 

Join us #MoveForMentalHealth social media campaign on Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; and TikTok, in collaboration with United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health.

 

How to get involved

 

  • If you are on social media, share a video showing what you do for your own mental well-being, including the hashtag #MoveForMentalHealth. Take a look at our own video to give you some ideas:¬†https://twitter.com/DrTedros/status/1314109079523033089¬†! Ask your friends to take part too.
  • Look out for our posts on social media explaining why it is so important to invest in mental health. Share widely. And create your own!

 

Thank you for your support.

 

#MoveForMentalHealth: let’s invest

 

Dévora Kestel

Director

Mental Health and Substance Use Department

World Health Organization

Newsflash: Professor Gerard Quinn is the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Image: Professor Gerard Quinn is the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

The Dementia Alliance International wishes to congratulate Professor Gerard Quinn on his appointment as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Mr. Quinn takes over the role from Ms.¬†Catalina Devandas Aguilar who has worked tirelessly for persons with disabilities, and who has been appointed as Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva. Catalina has actively worked to ensure people with dementia are included in this work, for which we thank her.

Given Mr. Quinn’s extensive experience and expertise, we look forward to the implementation of this important mandate in the coming years.

It is a critical time for the rights of persons with disabilities, and we know Professor Quinn will carry out his role in a way that ensures inclusive, systematic and sustainable change to ensure the universal respect, protection, and fulfillment of the rights of person with disabilities, including peopel with dementia, while fully considering multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

The Dementia Alliance International looks forward to the Special Rapporteur’s contribution to the successful implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that the United Nations system is fit for purpose in relation to disability inclusion.

Among his priorities, Mr. Quinn said that he will work to ensure that the voices of persons with disabilities are heard loud and clear, in global responses to general calamities caused by Covid-19, climate change and the armed conflicts. He highlighted the need for systemic change to underpin the gains of the UN CRPD, and to focus attention on the cultural and structural changes needed for the Sustainable Development Goals to be attained.

He will also continue to bring attention to the positive contribution of persons with disabilities, including highlighting the need to promote our active citizenship.

Mr. Quinn is a Professor Emeritus in law at the National University of Ireland, with a long career in public service. He sits on the scientific committee of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (EU FRA, Vienna), and has led the delegation of Rehabilitation International during the drafting of the UN CRPD.  To learn more about Mr. Quinn, follow this link.

Webinar: BAME family carers coping with caring for dementia

Please join us for the next DAI “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar, on October 28/29, 2020

Title: BAME family carers coping with caring for dementia

Presenter: Mohammed A. Rauf, MBE, Founder & Director Meri Yaadain CiC

DAY/DATE(S):

  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020 (USA/CA/UK/EU)
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020 (AU/NZ/Asia)
  • Please note this is one event, set in a number of different time zones.

About the Webinar: The prevalence of dementia amongst the BAME population may be underestimated due to issues impacting on these communities, including greater stigma, lack of awareness, a mistrust of service providers and the psycho-social factors arising from cultural or faith-based expectations. Understanding the complex nature of family dynamics is a key component of being able to decipher the roles and responsibilities within family care given their circumstantial situation.

Even though national policy has tackled some of this through a drive to encourage earlier diagnosis as well as interventions to support people with dementia, it can be argued that policy directives have failed the BAME population given that inequalities amongst the BAME people with dementia and their carers are still significantly higher for these communities than the White British population.

Exploration of psychosocial as well as religious influences on familism and cultural expectations will enable families to better understand roles and responsibilities whilst enabling policy makers and commissioners to recognise needs before putting into place culturally competent supportive interventions.

The notions of equality versus equity are inevitably linked with access to appropriate information, diagnosis and post-diagnostic services to support South Asian families where they are caring for a relative with dementia.

About Mohammed A Rauf: Mohammed is the Founder & Director of Meri Yaadain CiC, which looks to support BAME people living with dementia, family carers looking after a relative living with dementia and working with service providers to embed cultural competency in practice. He has 20 years of experience of working with BAME communities with regards to engagement and access to information and services. He is currently completing his PhD studies looking at how South Asian family carers cope with the transitions associated with looking after a relative with dementia. He was awarded an MBE from the Queen in recognition of his efforts for ‚ÄėServices to people with dementia and their carers‚Äô.

Register here…

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 (USA/CA/UK/EU):

  • 1:30 pm Pacific
  • 2:30 pm Mountain
  • 3:30 pm Central
  • 4:30 pm Eastern
  • 8:30 pm London/Glasgow/Dublin UK
  • 9:30 pm Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, EU

Thursday, October 29, 2020 ( AU/NZ/ASIA):

  • 4:30 am Perth, AU/Taipei/Singapore
  • 6:30 am Brisbane, AU
  • 7:00 am Adelaide, AU
  • 7:30 am Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra/Tasmania/Brisbane, AU
  • 9:30 am Auckland, NZ

The Webinar runs for 1.5 hours.

Check your time if not listed above with this link.

COST TO ATTEND:

  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Care partners of DAI Memers: FREE
  • Healthcare professionals: $20.00
  • Researchers: $20.00
  • General public: $20.00

YOUR DONATIONS SUPPORT US IN MANY WAYS:

  • $US 5.00 covers the average cost of one of our monthly bank fees
  • $US 120.00 covers the average monthly cost of the MailChimp subscription
  • $US 200.00 covers the cost of our monthly Zoom subscription fee
  • $US 300.00 covers the current cost of 3 months of website management fees

PLEASE DONATE TO DAI OR BECOME AN ASSOCIATE OR PARTNER. WITHOUT THEM, DAI COULD NOT PROVIDE THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE CURRENTLY FOR MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES & THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.

Support people with dementia:

THANK YOU

International Day of Older Persons

October 1 is the International Day of Older Persons, when each year we recognise, remember and celebrate Older Persons.

The theme this year asks, Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?, and introduce the Obervance  like this:

The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year has also seen an emergence of COVID-19, that has caused an upheaval across the world.

Considering the higher risks confronted by older persons during the outbreak of pandemics such as COVID-19, policy and programmatic interventions must be targeted towards raising awareness of their special needs.

Recognizing older persons contributions to their own health and the multiple roles they play in the preparedness and response phases of current and future pandemics is also important.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Older Persons aims to:

  • Inform participants about the strategic objectives for the Decade of Healthy Ageing.
  • Raise awareness of the special health needs of older persons and of their contributions to their own health and to the functioning of the societies in which they live.
  • Increase awareness and appreciation of the role of the health care workforce in maintaining and improving the health of older persons, with special attention to the nursing profession
  • Present proposals for reducing the health disparities between older persons in the developed and developing countries, so as to ‚ÄúLeave no one behind‚ÄĚ.
  • Increase understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons and its impact on health care policy, planning, and attitudes.

Some key facts about Ageing and health from the World Health Organisation (2018) are startling, and remind us of the importance of changing attitudes towards older persons.

  • Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
  • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
  • In 2050, 80% of older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The pace of population ageing is much faster than in the past.
  • All countries face major challenges to ensure that their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift.

It is important we all think of ways to reduce the stigma of ageing, and the ageist attutudes about older persons. Whilst dementia is anot a normal part of ageing, our risk factor goes up with age. In this article, Positive attitudes about aging reduce risk of dementia in older adult, reporter Michael Greenwood shares som eimprtant research about how improving attitudes towards older persons, can reduce their risk of getting dementia.

Positive attitudes about aging reduce risk of dementia in older adult

By Michael Greenwood, published on 7 February 2018

Research has shown that older persons who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia. This protective effect was found for all participants, as well as among those carrying a gene that puts them at higher risk of developing dementia, a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found. 

Published today in the journal PLOS ONE, the study reports that older persons with positive age beliefs who carry one of the strongest risk factors for developing dementia ‚ÄĒ the őĶ4 variant of the APOE gene ‚ÄĒwere nearly 50% less likely to develop the disease than their peers who held negative age beliefs.¬†¬†

The study is the first to examine whether culture-based age beliefs influence the risk of developing dementia among older people, including those who carry the high-risk gene variant. 

‚ÄúWe found that positive age beliefs can reduce the risk of one of the most established genetic risk factors of dementia,‚ÄĚ said lead author Becca Levy, professor of public health and of psychology. ‚ÄúThis makes a case for implementing a public health campaign against ageism, which is a source of negative age beliefs.‚ÄĚ

Read the full article here…