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Repositioning Dementia: Seeking solutions amplifies call for Action Plan Post Cover Image

The sector turned out in droves to support the call to fully fund and implement the Dementia Mate Wareware Action Plan, as part of Alzheimers NZ’s latest one-day event!

Repositioning Dementia: Seeking solutions was held in Auckland and online in March, as part of Brain Awareness Month. About 250 people registered for the event – both in person and online – with more than 100 people in the room on the day. It was a great day covering our three kaupapa – the Action Plan, human rights and lived experience and research.

The theme is a reference to the sector-driven Action Plan, which outlines the solutions for people and their whānau living with dementia mate wareware in Aotearoa New Zealand. While this was endorsed by the previous Government, the sector is urging the current Government to fully fund and implement the Action Plan.

It was great to hear from Associate Minister of Health Hon Casey Costello and Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora Director Ageing Well Andy Inder, alongside sector experts. The Associate Minister’s commitment to progressing the provision in the Coalition Agreement relating to the bipartisan agreement to fund dementia mate wareware care and the beds that Aotearoa New Zealand needs now and into the future was welcomed.

Alzheimers NZ Chief Executive Catherine Hall says implementing the Action Plan will improve the lives and alleviate hardship and challenges for thousands of people. It will also reduce the risk of thousands more developing the disease in future and the impact of dementia mate wareware on the health system and the economy.

“The question is – what more does the sector need to do to convince the system that dementia mate wareware needs its attention, urgently?  I know we are probably seen as one of many health sector non-government organisations all clamouring for attention, funding or policy changes, or all of the above.

“What sets us apart though, is the inescapable fact that the increase in dementia mate wareware prevalence is not incremental – it is massive. Frighteningly so. And it’s here right now.”

Some of the leading minds of the sector – including researchers and representatives from community organisations – each brought a unique perspective to improving the lives of people and their whānau living with dementia mate wareware.

Litmus’s Liz Smith and Alzheimers NZ’s Alister Robertson presented new research into the involvement of people with dementia mate wareware in the delivery of services. It was wonderful to see this work come to life.

Professor Cliff Abraham shared an insight into the latest drug research and what this means for Aotearoa New Zealand. International guest Emily Ong gave an overview of her journey with the Voices of Asia e-book project.

One of the special highlights of the day was the lunchtime performance from the Aotearoa Tongan Health Workers Association Inc Ākiheuho’s Elder Tongan Uluhuna group (below) – it was a privilege to have them join.

We’ve had some amazing feedback so far with people describing the day as excellent, fabulous and wonderful – and many left feeling inspired!

Repositioning Dementia: Seeking solutions was supported by sponsors Ryman Healthcare, Summerset, thinAir and Freemasons Foundation and charity partner Verve – thank you for the ongoing support. Alzheimers NZ is also appreciative of partners the Mate Wareware Advisory Rōpū who attended.

Check out some photos from the day on our Facebook page. Save the date for our fourth and final event in Wellington and online on Tuesday 24 September!

Caption: The Alzheimers NZ team at the event (above)