Welcome to 2020, and Happy 6th Birthday, and congratulations to everyone at Dementia Alliance International (DAI) for such a successful 2019.
Today we share some of our achievements for 2019, which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Celebrating our 5th birthday on this day last year! Special thanks to Graeme Atkins for his delightful song
- Our continued strategic partnership with Alzheimer’s Disease International; we thank them for their continued sponsorship and support
- Our first strategic partnership with a national advocacy organisation; thank you Dementia Australia for your support in 2019, and your committment to continued sponsorship and support of DAI into 2020 and beyond
- Representation at the World Health Assembly in May, the Rehabilitation 2030 meetings, and the Mental health Forum in October
- The first DAI Side Event “Dementia: the leading cause of disability” was held at the Conference Of State Parties (COSP) on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); this was the first time a Side Event dedicated to dmentia has ever been held at the COSP in New York
- Collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society UK and the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group on a Directory of Resources on advocacy, and a short video: The Many Voices of Dementia, released in July
- DAI held its first Capacity Building Workshop in Las Angeles in July
- DAI was proud to become a Champion Organisation partner with StepUp 4 Dementia Research in Australia; supporting research is imperative for treatments, as well as improving care and reducing risk of dementia, If you live in Australia, please sign up.
- Dr Jennifer Bute (DAI member) continues to support the ADI Alzheimer’s University, and other members in the UK also provide support to ADI, including Howard Gordon presenting on the panel, Let’s Talk about Dementia Research: Maintaining hope when trials end
- A second volunteer, Tamara Claunch from Houston Texas joined long time volunteer Sarah Yeates; thanks to them both. They have also agreed to take on more formal roles at DAI, to support our board and leadership (to be anounced next week)
- Membership is increasing steadily
- Increases to additional new free members services, including, for example two Living Alone Social peer to peer support groups
- Updates to many of our Governance documents and By Laws, soon to be announced and shared
- It took almost six years, but we now have a committed group of professionals who have agreed to be members of our Professional Advisory Committee, soon to be announced.
- We introduced the new Board Of Directors for 2020 at the Annual General Meeting in November(to be announced in detail next week), congratulate them all, and thank them for their willingness to serve on the BOD
- The WHO launched their new Quality Rights initiative and Toolkit. DAI members Professor Peter Mittler and Kate Swaffer both contributed significantly to this on behalf of DAI
- Many DAI members have also worked with the WHO on their Dementia Friendly Initiatives work, which is still in draft stage and is to be released this year
- Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of person with disabilities launched a report on the rights of older persons with disabilities at the 74th session of the General Assembly in October 2019. The report identifies and addresses specific human rights concerns faced by both people with disabilities who are ageing and older persons who acquire a disability. DAI was invited to review the draft, and able to ensure dementia was included
- We have two formal publication in progress, finally, to be released sometime in 2020
- Finally, please find the time to complete the DAI Survey on Advocacy and involvement in Dementia Research and Policy; Responses are needed by January 15, 2020. Thank you.
Of course, there have been many other achievements by individual DAI members, working locally, nationally or globally, as always, far too many to list. However, DAI knows that advocacy takes a physical and cognitive (and sometmes emotional) toll on every person with dementia, and their care partner and family.