Alzheimer’s Disease International

This week we hand over to Thomas Morton who looks back at his recent experience of the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference…

ADS goes to the Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International

At the start of last month (June) some of us from the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) got to represent our work – and learn about that of others – at the Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, or ADI 2022. It’s not often that this prestigious international conference is held so close to home: This year it was in London, at The Oval (yes, the world famous cricket ground!) and it was the first time it had been held physically since the onset of the global pandemic. Hence it was a real buzz to be in the capital, meeting other researchers face-to-face.

Image showing the Alzheimer's Disease International backdrop which has a red silhouette of a city skyline.

The conference was an opportunity for Dr Shirley Evans, Interim Director of ADS, to talk about our work around Meeting Centres with a global audience – whether that was to raise awareness of what they are and what they do; help generate interest in this rapidly-spreading form of post-diagnostic community-based support; discuss our research into them; or even forge new connections with those who might be interested in starting up Meeting Centres in their own communities. We had a poster on the work of Meeting Centres in England, Scotland and Wales, which Dr Evans presented along with Graham Galloway, CEO of Kirrie Connections (who run the Kirriemuir Meeting Centre in Angus, and are steering the rapid spread of Meeting Centres across Scotland).

Dr Shirley Evans standing in front of the Meeting Centres poster

I was there also, to present a poster on SCI-Dem, our review of the factors involved in keeping community-based groups and activities for people affected by dementia sustainable, long-term. The SCI-Dem review was completed at the end of 2020, but this was the first chance to present its findings at a major conference in person – and of course, I also got the chance to talk about our current project, Get Real with Meeting Centres, which is looking at the sustainability of Meeting Centres specifically.

Thomas Morton standing in front of the SCI-Dem poster

Last but not least, Professor Dawn Brooker – who has just retired as Director of ADS and is now an Emeritus Professor with the University of Worcester – chaired a plenary session on Solutions and Challenges in Strengthening Care and Support. Speaking in the plenary session were Henry Simmons of Alzheimer’s Scotland on “A decade of disruption and transformation”; Professor Anders Wimo on “The cost of care: new figures, forecasts and implications”; Dame Louise Robinson on “Shifting post-diagnostic dementia care into primary care”; and Professor David Sharp on “Using technology to enhance the lives of people with dementia”. Together they presented a fascinating overview of the current state of support for people living with dementia, from four very different angles.

Professor Dawn Brooker chairing the session

Overall, the conference was an invaluable opportunity to get a snapshot of the sheer breadth and variety of valuable work going on around the world, to learn about dementia and its impacts (whether individual or for the whole population) and help support and improve the lives of people living with and affected by dementia. On a personal note it gave me a better appreciation of what the current thinking and research priorities are and how the work of ADS fits in with what is happening across the globe in the field of dementia research and support, in a way that was extremely positive and inspiring. The ADI’s forthcoming World Alzheimer Report for this year will focus on how we can improve post-diagnostic support, a topic very close to the heart of what we do at ADS, so we look forward to that this autumn – as well as carrying on with our work at ADS to help achieve this (which we will no doubt be presenting at future conferences)!

Photo looking over The Oval cricket ground on a slightly grey day with the covers on.

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow


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