(The spoken version shall take precedence)
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 35th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International. It is truly remarkable to be able to address so many people, all united with the shared desire and ambition to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their carers, across the world.
Dementia is one of the greatest and most complex health challenges of our time, and one that we can only solve through international action and cooperation. Dementia knows no borders. It is a condition that risks affecting us all in some way.
Improving the care and support for those living with dementia is a deeply personal cause. Last year I lost my brother to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as my mother some years earlier.
When my mother lived her last years with dementia, we were fortunate to have the support of skilled and experienced carers, who also provided us with a way to understand how to support both my mother and our family members.
Having that support made an enormous difference, at a very difficult time in our lives.
However, I know that so many across the world do not have access to such support.
It is for this reason that I founded the Silviahemmet Foundation. For more than 25 years now, the Foundation has offered education in dementia care both nationally and internationally, to care professionals as well as to relatives of persons living with dementia.
Esteemed delegates. I really cannot understate the importance of bringing together Alzheimer’s and dementia associations, carers, healthcare professionals, academics and people living with dementia.
Together we can raise awareness of dementia, and jointly advocate to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their loved ones.
Our movement has come a long way, and we have achieved so much. But we all know there are still areas where we must continue to push for change. It is my hope that the expertise and discussions shared over the following three days will form the basis of the changes to come.
I wish you all a successful conference! Thank you.