Category Archives: Uncategorized

Observing International Friendship Day 2021

On July 30, 2021 DAI observes the International Day of Friendship. The theme this year is Sharing the Human Spirit Through Friendship

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

DAI is committed to building bridges, and to equal inclusion, collaboration, diversity and to ensuring the rights of all persons with dmentia and their families or care partners are realised.

The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems. It was then adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997. Learn more from the UN here.

Suggestions from the United Nations: Actions to Promote a Culture of Peace

  • foster a culture of peace through education

At Dementia Alliance International the leadership team and support group co-hosts fully understand and embrace the benefits of education both ongoing education for people living with dementia and education for those in the wider community through our Webinars and Special Events. DAI Webinars attract a wide audience, and a host of expert speakers from across the globe.

  • promote respect for all human rights;

Dementia Alliance International (DAI) continues to advocate locally, nationally and globally for the rights of people with dementia, as persons living with acquired cognitive and other disabilities. As our global work increases, we now attend the Conference Of State Parties (COSP) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It is integral to our mission that people living with dementia have the same human rights as people living with other disabilities and we continue to advocate for this at all levels.

  • ensure equality between women and men;

Here at DAI we recognise that dementia strikes both men and women equally. Our support groups, webinars and other supports are open to men and women, as well as those who identify as non-binary or gender-fluid. Dementia does not discriminate, and nor do we. The support and information we provide is so important to all people living with dementia.

  • foster democratic participation;

DAI’s Board of Directors and other working groups foster democratic participation, and people living with dementia are encouraged to have their say through voting at Annual General Meetings, and by being involved in the various working parties and sub committees of the Board.

  • advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity;

Peer to Peer support groups run by people living with dementia, for people living with dementia embody the belief that tolerance and solidarity benefit all, whereas discrimination and division benefit no one.  One of the reason the DAI peer to peer support groups are so successful in achieving their mission is that the co-hosts do have a deep understanding of what group members may be experiencing, as well as tolerance and a sense of solidarity with members.

  • support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;

The leadership team makes a concerted effort to include all members of DAI in their information and communication. Board Meetings are transparent and decisions communicated to the general membership monthly. Surveys and blogs, newsletters and Facebook posts, twitter and Linked in – the free flow of information is encouraged and supported throughout the organisation.

  • promote international peace and security.

The world would be a better place with World Peace and all the peoples of the world living in security, but until then, DAI is doing its best as an organisation to promote inclusion and security for all – so that all people diagnosed with dementia, can live well with dementia

Please donate to DAI today

By donating, you will ensure we can contonue our work supportign peopel diagnosed with demetnia, our families and the broader dementa community of researchers and professionals.

Thank you.

 

Volunteer Vacancies

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is a registered 501c3 charity in the state of Texas in the United States of America. Is is a charity that is run by, and for people with dementia, with no paid staff.

Volunteers currently support our important and demanding work.

DAI has three volunteer vacancies:

Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is a registered charity in the state of Texas in the United States of America; a charity that is run by, and for people with dementia with no paid staff. We do however, have volunteers who support our important and demanding work, and also thank our past, current and future Volunteers! We are currently looking for three new volunteers to support this innovative and highly successful advocacy organization.

Three Volunteer Vacancies:

  1. Board Secretariat: needs a demonstrated ability to keep accurate records, attend board meetings and the AGM, provide minutes, and other duties including advice on Governance.
  2. Finance Officer: needs a demonstrated ability to manage financial resources and develop budgets, prepare reports using Quickbooks, and so on.
  3. Webinars, Marketing and Social Media: this includes setting up webinars using Eventbrite, managing a calendar of keynote speakers, using MailChimp to communicate with members and supporters, and adding content to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Key attributes:

  • Willing to work under the direction of the organisation, i.e. working under the instruction of people diagnosed with dementia, in accordance with nothing about us, without us
  • Agree to use DAI marketing and branding formats in all matters, including communications such as powerpoint presentations
  • Be willing to treat the role with the same professionalism as a paid position
  • Provide adequate notice if you need to step down
  • A background in or a full understanding of co-design
  • Knowledge and awareness of dementia as a disability, and equal access to the CRPD
  • Proven ability to work as a member of a team
  • Some education in dementia, or a background in dementia care

Essential criteria includes;

  • Confidentially
  • Willing to work under the direction of people with dementia
  • Willing to sign a Conflict of Interest form


 

 

Register for the July Webinar NOW

YOU are invited to the DAI July 2021 “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar! We are very excited you are joining us for this very important discussion.

Title: From Rhetoric to Reality: Raising the profile of designing well for people living with dementia

Presenters:  Professor Richard Fleming, Kirsty Bennett, Dr John Zeisel & Chris Lynch

Note: the Zoom link to join will be sent 2 hours before the webinar.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021  (USA/CA/UK/EU)
– 2:00 pm PDT     
– 3:00 pm MDT     
– 4:00 pm CDT     
– 5:00 pm EDT     
– 10:00 pm UK, BST 
– 11:00 pm Europe   

Thu, 29 Jul 2021  (AU/NZ/ASIA)
– 5:00 am SGT/AWST    
– 6:30 am ACST    
– 7:00 am AEST    
– 9:00 am NZST  
 
The Webinar runs for up to 1.5 hours.

Register here…

Please check this link if your time is not listed above:  See you soon!

THANK YOU

Virtual Civil Society Forum at CoSP14

The Civil Society Coordination Mechanism, facilitated by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) hosted a Civil Society Forum on 14 June 2021

This forum precedes the COSP, which starts in about 12 hours.

We quote here from one of the the opening speeches, in particular from the Chair of the International Disability Alliance, Ms Anna Lucia. In her keynote address, she said:

“There is no such thing as a good institution.”

Another important point made by one of the other speakers, as without access, there is no inclusion:

“Access is crucial for equal inclusion and participation”

You can access the draft agenda for CoSP 14, and below is the list of side events with IDA Participation during COSP14, from Monday 14 to Friday 18 June 2021.

Watch LIVE the COSP14 from 15 to 17 June

Theme and sub-themes

Overarching theme: Building back better: COVID-19 response and recovery; Meeting the needs, Realizing the rights, and Addressing the socio-economic impacts on persons with disabilities

Sub-theme 1: Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies
Sub-theme 2: Living Independently, being included in the community
Sub-theme 3: Right to education; challenges with inclusive education and accessibility during COVID-19

Side Events with IDA Participation

Monday, June 14th

Time: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
Title: Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during Pandemics and Crises”
Organised by: League of Arab States, Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities
Link to join here
Link to concept note

Time: 3.00 PM – 4.15 PM EDT
Title:
Digital Accessibility: Strategies Towards Ensuring the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Post-Pandemic Building Better Efforts
Organized by: G3ICT
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Tuesday, June 15th

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Wethe15 Campaign
Organized by: International Paralympic Committee
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Barriers, Enablers, and Solutions for Disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Organized by: UNESCO
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title: COVID-19 Response in Humanitarian Settings – How are Persons with Disabilities Included?
Organized by: UNHCR
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Transforming our Communities: from Segregation to Inclusion
Organized by: Inclusion International
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8:30 AM – 9:45AM  EDT
Title: Bridging COVID-19 Response and Recovery: Learning from the Inclusive Futures Programme
Organized by: Inclusive Futures, Sightsavers
Link to Register

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title:
The Situation of Indigenous Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Recovery Efforts from the Pandemic of COVID-19
Organized by: RIADIS
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note
Link to Flyer

Time: 1.15 PM – 2.30 PM EDT
Title:
Access to Justice: For an Inclusive and Quality Police Service for Persons with Disabilities
Organized by: Special Envoy UNSG on Disability and Accessibility
Link to Register
Link to Program
Link to Invitation

Time: 6.00 PM -7:15 PM EDT
Title:
Leave No One Behind in Education: Rights to Education of Persons with Disabilities during the COVID 19 Pandemic
Organized by: DPI Korea
Link to Concept Note

Wednesday, June 16th

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title: Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Why and How?
Organized by: IDA
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title: One Pandemic, Different Realities: Evidence on the Experience of the Diversity of Persons with Disabilities and their Representative Organisations in Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparing to Build Back Inclusively
Organized by: IDDC
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Enabling Social Support Systems: Preparing Grassroots Communities for Inclusion of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities
Organized by: TCI
Link to Connect
Link to Concept Note
Link to Program
Link to Flyer

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Towards Meaningful Inclusion: Participation of Youth with Disabilities from Commitment to Call to Action and Compliance
Organized by: Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth in Partnership with WHO
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note
Link to Flyer

Time: 8:30 AM – 9:45 EDT
Title:
Representation Matters! Deaf Members in the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Organized by: Permanent Mission of Austria (to the United Nations of New York), WFD, Light for the World
Link to Register
Link to Flyer

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title: Global Disability Summit 2022: Where are We Going?
Organized by: the Co-Chairs of the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network
Link to Register
Link to the event

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title:
Show-casing Success of Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum Online Disability Equality Training
Organized by: Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum (CDPF)
Link to Connect
Link to Concept Note

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title:
Taking a Step Back Before Moving Forward: What Have We Learned to Support Inclusive Recovery?
Organized by: UNPRPD
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 1.15 PM -2.30 PM EDT
Title: Impact of Armed Conflict and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on Persons with Disabilities – Prioritizing Mental Illness or PTSD in the Socio-Economic Recovery Strategies
Organized by: CADUS
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Thursday, June 17th

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title: The Most Active Advocates, the Last to be Included: Women with Disabilities Affected by Armed Conflict
Organized by: Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN
Link to Concept note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title: WE DON’T WANT TO REMAIN STUCK AT HOME: Towards Inclusive and Responsive Social Protection Systems
Organized by: UNPRPD, ILO, UNICEF, IDA, FCDO
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title:
Promoting the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Just Transition Towards a Sustainable Economy
Organized by: ILO
Link to Concept Note

Time: 9.45 AM – 10:45 AM EDT
Title:
Inclusive Recovery from COVID19 Pandemic – Ensuring Organizations of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families are Consulted and Involved with Development Organizations and Governments in Building Back Better
Organized by: Inclusion International
Link to Concept Note

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title:
Freedom to Live: Malta’s Path to 2030
Organized by: Malta

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title: Implementing Art. 11 of the CRPD in Armed Conflict: Making Persons with Disabilities More Visible
Organized by: ICRC
Link to Connect
Link to Concept Note

Time: 11.30 AM – 12.45 AM EDT
Title:
Youth with Disabilities: Opportunities in COVID-19 Recovery and Onwards to the Youth with Disabilities Summit
Organized by: ULAC
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 1.15 PM -2.30 PM EDT
Title:
Gender-Responsive Disability Inclusion in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts
Organized by: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women)
Link to Concept Note

Friday, June 18th

Time: 8.30 AM – 9.45 AM EDT
Title
: Disability Inclusion in the Health Sector
Organized by: WHO
Link to Concept Note

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title:
Nothing About Us, Without Us: Amplifying the Priorities of Women and Girls with Disabilities to the CRPD and CEDAW Committees in the Post-COVID Recovery Process
Organized by: ADF
Link to Register
Link to Concept Note

Time: 10.00 AM – 11.15 AM EDT
Title: How COVID-19 – Affected SPED Teachers & How the Use of Technology Saved Students with Special Needs
Organized by: Athena Fund
Link to Register
Link to Invitation

Launch of the 4th ADI From Plan To Impact Report


DAI’s CEO & co-founder Kate Swaffer was recently invited to be a panellist at the ADI Side Event for the launch of their 4th ‘From Plan To Impact Report’.

We introduce this blog-post with a reminder there continues to be a lack of equal access to the CRPD and other Conventions for all people with dementia.

Below is the transcript of Kate’s brief presentation and summary of the Side Event.

Kate Swaffer, World Health Assembly 2021
ADI Side Event, 26 May 2021

Thanks so much Paola and thank you once again for the invitation to join this panel at this important World Health Assembly Side Event which you are hosting. As always, I feel humbled to represent the more than 50 million people living with dementia globally.

It’s been really inspiring to hear from our colleagues around the world, and the progress that is being made, and also to have examples of such great leadership from Indonesia and the Asia Pacific, and in Kenya and Africa. I guess as always, my role is to be a bit of a Devil’s Advocate, and I wanted to highlight a number of issues that people with dementia particularly feel need to be considered in National Dementia Plans.

There continues to be lack of recognition in policy, and in post diagnostic support and services for dementia that it is a major cause of disability.

There continues to be a lack of access to disability assessment and support, referrals to rehabilitation after diagnosis, although it is great to know that the WHO are currently developing guidelines on rehabilitation for dementia.

There needs to be a focus on Rights in national plans, and a focus on stigma and discrimination because all of the time I have been involved in this space I have not seen any change in the prevalence of stigma and discrimination, anywhere in the world [nor does research or the multiple reports about these issues].

What is frustrating for me personally and for people with dementia that I talk to, is that ADI were talking about a rights-based focus for dementia as far back as their report in 2012 that I have read, and I made three calls to action at the WHO First Ministerial Conference on Dementia in 2015, which were about:

  1. That we have human right to a more ethical pathway of care, that
  2. we have access to the same human rights and disability rights as everyone else, under the Disability Discrimination Acts and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and
  3. that research does not only focus on a cure, but on our care, including rehabilitation.

So, in summary we don’t seem to have come too far with progress for people with dementia. We have made progress but as Paola and others, and Tarun have said, we are well behind the 2025 target, and less than 100 countries have national dementia plans

  • We have made progress, but we are well behind the 2025 target
  • > 100 countries still do not have National Dementia Plans [in fact, only 40 contries have National Dementia Plans]
  • We do need a Rights based focus is needed in all national dementia plans and policies [comment in chat box of someone also advocating for that]
  • We need strategies to support well-being and quality of life for people with dementia and our families
  • It is important we need to strengthen health systems; only today I was talking to someone in Adelaide Australia where I live whose mother suddenly needs a significant amount of in-home care, and there is none available for the next 12 months. I live in a rich country, and this is not really good enough!
  • There is a growing concern on the impact of dementia on women and girls
  • There are still very poor diagnosis rates and poor post-diagnostic care
  • I totally agree the focus on risk reduction as with all other chronic diseases is imperative, and needs to be included in national dementia plans
  • Dementia must continue to be seen as a priority and we must not let it be diluted due to the very necessary responses due to covid.
  • Still poor diagnosis rates and lack of post diagnostic care
  • Risk reduction, in line with other diseases, is increasingly important

Dementia must continue to be seen as a priority, and not be diluted due to the very necessary responses we have all had to implement due to the COVID-19 pandemic

I do have hope, but also feel as Gill Livingston has said, the time to act is now.

Thank you.

Footnote: Governments, Alzheimer’s organisations, health care professionals and service providers all around the world need to use the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to benefit people living with dementia, which was also highlighted in the 2012 WHO-ADI Report, Dementia: a public health priority.

Watch the ADI side event in full here:

The Problem of Dementia – Why It’s a Crisis and What We Can Do About It

DAI’s Café Le Brain becomes a “Meeting Of The Minds” in June 2021!

DAI is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June, which is to be followed by our monthly Café Le Brain.

This year we have a very special invited guest speaker after the AGM, who will present at our Cafe, which will be a DAI “Meeting Of The Minds” event with a difference!

Title: The Problem of Dementia: Why It’s a Crisis & What We Can Do About It

Presenter: Dr. Jason Karlawish, MD, Physician, Writer

DAY/DATE(S):

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU)
  • Thursday, June 16, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA)
  • Please note this is one event, set in a number of different time zones – it is not being held twice.

About the presentation: Once upon a time, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias were rare diseases and then it became common and, quickly, turned into a crisis. Why? What happened? And how does knowing what happened help us decide what we should do about it? This “Meeting of the Minds” takes on these questions.

About Dr. Jason Karlawish: Jason is a physician and writer. He researches and writes about issues at the intersections of bioethics, aging, and the neurosciences. He is the author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It and the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont and has written essays for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Hill, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center, where he cares for patients. He lives in Philadelphia.

Register here…

Wednesday, June 15, 2021 (USA/CA/UK/EU):

  • 2:30 pm Pacific
  • 3:30 pm Mountain
  • 4:30 pm Central
  • 5:30 pm Eastern
  • 10:30 pm London/Glasgow/Dublin UK
  • 11:30 pm Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, EU

Thursday, June 16, 2021 (AU/NZ/ASIA):

  • 5:30 am Perth, AU/Asia
  • 7:00 am Adelaide, AU
  • 7:30 am Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra/Tasmania/Brisbane, AU
  • 9:30 am Auckland, NZ

The event runs for up to 1.5 hours.

Check your time with this link if not listed above.

COST TO ATTEND:

  • DAI Members: FREE
  • Non DAI Members: FREE
  • DONATIONS ARE APPRECIATED: $30.00 or you can choose

WHILST IT IS FREE FOR YOU TO ATTEND, PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO SUPPORT THESE EVENTS AND ONGOING SERVICES AND SUPPORT FOR OUR MEMBERS:

  • $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 3 months of website management fees

Support people with dementia:

Register here…

THANK YOU

Happy 2021; Happy 7th birthday DAI

2020 saw a global pandemic accompanied by sweeping shutdowns and stay-at-home orders along with worldwide travel restrictions. Dementia Alliance International (DAI) members – and our families and supporters – were not exempt from these very difficult restrictions and challenges.

In fact, COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever before what people with dementia often experience from the time of their diagnosis, or when they disclosed their diagnosis of dementia.

  • Social isolation
  • Physical distancing
  • Physical isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Normal human responses to the changes and disabilities brought about by dementia (not BPSD)

As we reflect on this tumultuous year and embrace the new one, we pause and reflect on 2020. Importantly, we can still look ahead with anticipation – and hope – to 2021.

Before we reflect though, it is very exciting to be able to celebrate our 7th birthday today!

Seven years ago today, DAI was launched by 8 co-founders from 3 countires, who were all were diagnosed with dementia. They had worked on it for many months, and were initially using Google Chats to communicate, followed in 2013 by zoom.

DAI were very early adopters of zoom! Thankfully the rest of the world has now caught up.

People without dementia are also now better understanding how draining and tiring zoom meetings or chats can be. It’s very likely there will be lots of research money now spent on ‘zoom-fatigue’.

If only it hadn’t taken a pandemic…

It’s easy to dream! Our founders all had their own individual dreams and wants. Many of these dreams have become the ‘collective DAI dream’, and include the following ery reasonable dreams.

  • Our dream: to provide support for other people also diagnosed with dementia.
  • Our dream: equal inclusion.
  • Our dream: to provide a network of people with and without dementia to advocate for better care.
  • Our dream: for more relevant research, that actually makes a tangible difference.
  • Our dream: for Universal health Coverage, including rehabilitation.

Our unofficial ‘motto’ has always been the famous quote by Margaret Mead:

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)

Our next blog will include the reflections from 2020, referred to above! For today, let’s all celebrate how far people with dementia have come, running their own unique global organisation. It’s at least a triple celebration considering DAI has no paid staff, three incredible volunteers, and almost no funding!

Stay safe.

Stay well.

You are not alone.

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 FacebookTwitterInstagram; 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

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 “Leave no one behind”.
  • 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 — the ε4 variant of the APOE gene —were 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. 

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

Read the full article here…

What’s it like to live with dementia?

 

 

On the final day of Dementia Awareness Month, we share a short video of one of our co founders, Kate Swaffer talking about three things she now knows about dementia.

As a co founding member of DAI, Kate has often said she is glad she co-founded DAI, because it provides support, gives people hope, and helps them to ‘reclaim their lives‘, after it has been stripped away.

Whilst not all members join peer to peer support groups, and not all members become active in DAI, those who do, regularly say: “DAI saved their life”. DAI is Life Changing.

3 Things I know [about dementia]

The Drum, SBS, Australia

Introduction by Ellen Fanning, 5 May 2020,
Reporter Stephanie Bolte

When [DAI co-founder, Chair and CEO] Kate Swaffer started to see words upside down over a decade ago, she thought it was a result of brain surgery she’d had. It turned out she was one of more than 26,00 people in Australia under the age of 65 with what’s known as younger onset dementia. 

Told to get ready to die, Kate’s world seemed to disappear overnight, but she realised it didn’t have to, and she has gone on to co-found Dementia Alliance International and advocate across the globe for dementia in practice to be seen as a disability. She sat down with reporter Stephanie Boltje, before the Coronavirus shutdown, to explain three things she knows about dementia.

Since you’re here…

… we’re asking readers 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.  Thank you.

Help more people with dementia to continue to have a voice, by donating to DAI.