Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden has become an Honorary Ambassador of Alzheimer’s Disease International, in recognition of her personal commitment to work surrounding elderly and end-of-life care, and specifically dementia. In her new role, she hopes to ensure that collaborative, global action is taken to achieve the targets of the WHO’s global action plan on the public health response to dementia, and to support the global transformation of awareness for people living with dementia and their care partners everywhere.
HM Queen Silvia has a long-standing association with, and support of dementia, in 1996, having initiated a dementia care training programme for hospital personnel in Sweden by the foundation Stiftelsen Silviahemmet. Today, Stiftelsen Sivliahemmet provides training and education for assistant nurses, nurses, doctors, physio- and occupational therapists as well as case managers in dementia care aiming to ensure the highest quality of life for people living with dementia.
HM Queen Silvia said: “I am honoured to act as an Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Disease International, an organisation which addresses many issues which are important to me. Dementia will continue to affect populations globally, especially rapidly ageing populations such as Sweden. In the continued absence of a disease-modifying treatment, more research must be pioneered into risk reduction and care improvements, including world-leading risk-reduction research.”
Paola Barbarino, CEO of ADI, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Queen Silvia, whose long-standing dedication to the field of dementia and ageing is well known. Having such patronage at the forefront of our work is crucial for raising awareness and galvanising the influence needed to take action on dementia globally.”
Dr Karin Lind-Mörnesten, CEO of Swedish Care International, said: “By becoming an Honorary Ambassador, Her Majesty the Queen is conveying a very important message to the global community. Through her leadership on dementia, HM Queen Silvia has already inspired many to focus on this matter through the years, but her willingness to be an even more visible advocate for this cause is truly inspiring. SCI is a proud partner with ADI and we look forward to being a small part in continuing to support their important work.”
HM Queen Silvia joins Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, former president of Costa Rica and HM Queen Sofia of Spain as Honorary Ambassadors of ADI.
Today, approximately 160,000 Swedish people have been diagnosed with dementia and approximately 25,000 citizens receive a diagnosis every year. These people are also supported by about 500,000 individuals, who are often care partners of people with dementia. However, these figures are approximations and it is likely that there are many more undiagnosed persons with cognitive decline. Dementia is one of the most significant global health and social crises in the 21st century, and collaborative, global action and funding are sorely needed to address the impact of dementia.