An enthusiastic and lively welcomed over 1,100 delegates from 65 countries to ADI's24th international conference in March 2009. With temperatures reaching 35°C, crowdsgathered to take part in the mass workout and Memory Walk organisedby the Alzheimer's Disease Association of ,which set in the motion the events for the week.
This enthusiasm continuedthroughout the conference, with a vibrant lion dance to mark the opening of theevent and an encouraging speech from Singaporean government minister Mr Lim Boon Heng.
The three-day event includedenlightening and moving presentations from speakers in keynote and parallelsessions, active workshops, lunch symposia, poster presentations and colourful information stands.
Strong emphasis was placed onquality of life, caring and creativity at this year's conference, with aparticularly touching presentation from Tan ChingHong on caring for her father. Those attending the event were made aware of thesocial, economic and global impact of dementia and Henry Brodatydispelled some of the myths surrounding the effects of diet and lifestyle ondementia.
The workshops arranged by ADIgave participants the opportunity to share information, thoughts and ideas.During the workshop run by the 10/66 Dementia Research Group, attendees wereasked to use the research findings of the group to lobby government ministers.Alzheimer associations from the Asia Pacific region were given the opportunityto share information and experiences of dementia in their country, providingdelegates with an idea of the hard work being done throughout the region. OtherADI workshops included Global Strategy - Local Action, Strengthening yourAlzheimer's Association and the last Stroud Symposia workshop, presenting thefindings from the previous workshops as well as encouraging discussion onexperiences with care service worldwide.
The voices of people withdementia were heard very clearly, with speakers including Myrna Blake from and Richard Taylor from the . A forumfor people with dementia took place in a specially allocated quiet room wherethey were given the opportunity to air their views on working with nationalassociations and their role as advocates.
Those attending the Gala dinneron the third day of the event were treated to an astonishing mask changingperformance and music from a live band. ADI and FondationMédéric Alzheimer used this occasion to present theaward for Dissemination of Psychosocial Intervention Research. Mary Mittelman received the prize for her proposal 'Translatingthe NYU Caregiver Intervention from Research to PractiseSettings'. An additional prize was awarded to Danny George for his submission,'Can Intergenerational Volunteering Promote Quality of Life for Persons with Mild to Moderate Dementia?'
As ever, the ADI conference had adynamic and welcoming atmosphere. The ability to exchange ideas betweenresearchers, medical and care professionals, Alzheimer association staff andvolunteers, people with dementia and carers fromaround the globe continues to make the ADI conference a unique and valuableexperience.