Impression Alzheimer Europe conference the Hague
The Alzheimer Europe conference began a day early for me with the INTERDEM meeting, which provided an insight into the foundations, growth, and future directions of this high achieving network. For an emerging doctorate of INDUCT – a Horizon 2020 training network set up as part of INTERDEM collaborations – having the support of both networks going forward is quite an asset. So it was a privilege to present our collective INDUCT recommendations in one of the INTERDEM symposiums led by Rose-Marie Dröes, Martin Orrell, and Frans Verhey. I found it humbling to notice the strength of what we have achieved together, and the website will be a practical guide for a wide array of stakeholders, available here: https://www.dementiainduct.eu/guidance/
My stand out sessions from the conference were those hosted by the European Working Group of People with Dementia. They are clearly a diverse group of people who have so much to share and operate to one another’s strengths. I felt inspired afresh by Helen Rochford-Brennan’s words to continue seeking out the silenced voices through my research involvement work in rural areas. I was also touched by Stefan Eriksson’s excellent presentation with his daughter Janni about the importance to him of independent attendance at health care appointments – the transport systems are there to support him, but the healthcare staff are falling short. There is still much work to do.
There were many rich conversions and discussions about research, practices, and everyday life with contacts old and new from around Europe. I do appreciate the chance that Alzheimer Europe conferences in particular give to share research with such a wide audience using everyday language. The more I talked, the more I heard other people’s stories, and the more enthusiastic I became about the importance of ensuring that everyone is included in the everyday technological environment. This was reinforced by so many presentations that I attended throughout the event and I hope there will be many future opportunities for me to continue with this work.
My enormous gratitude to the Alzheimer Europe team for creating such a memorable and enriching event, to all presenters and speakers, and to the INTERDEM academy for their generous support enabling me to attend.
Sarah Wallcook, MSc OT, ESR 4 INDUCT, PhD student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.