07 Aug 2017
HEIDI DOUGLASS | firstname.lastname@example.org
With dementia estimated to cost Australia more than $14 billion in 2017, a number of Sydney’s senior executives attended ARIA Restaurant Sydney’s annual charity luncheon on 16 June to support The Dementia Momentum® initiative of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA). The event, held for the fourth consecutive year, aims to drive philanthropic support from the corporate community toward vital research at CHeBA to change the future of dementia incidence.
Ita Buttrose AO OBE, Patron of CHeBA’s Maintain Your Brain Study, was MC for the event which she said was an important opportunity for connecting the corporate community with leading international researchers.
“Enormous social and economic change will soon be upon us if, as a nation, we don’t act now,” said Ms Buttrose. “We want to set the scene for positive change in ageing through the research being conducted at CHeBA.”
Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum, Richard Grellman AM, spoke candidly about wife Suellen’s requirements for very high level care and attention. Richard told the group that the effect on grandchildren is often overlooked in discussions of dementia.
“The Dementia Momentum is an initiative to form a collective of funders supporting positive ageing and prevention or delayed onset of dementia,” said Mr Grellman. “It is a golden opportunity for corporations and individuals to unite and invest in social change before the impacts become overwhelming on families and individuals worldwide.”
A lively presentation touching on brains and memory by guest speaker and renowned science journalist, Robyn Williams AM, had all guests enraptured.
CHeBA Co-Director Professor Perminder Sachdev also spoke about the latest progress in big data research and expressed gratitude to ARIA Restaurant Sydney owners, Bruce and Barbara Solomon, for their ongoing support.
“Partnerships with the business community are essential for expediting strategies to limit the effects of dementia, which are exponential,” said Professor Sachdev. “Reducing the annual age-sex specific incidence rates for dementia in people aged 65 years and above by 5% would lead to a 7% reduction in the number of people with dementia in the population by 2025 and a 24% reduction by 2056. As a result, there would be nearly 36,400 fewer people with dementia in 2025 and almost 261,000 fewer people by 2056 compared with current projections, saving more than $120 billion.”
The event was attended by Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, The Hon John Watkins AM and Montefiore Home Chief Executive Officer, Robert Orie. A number of Members and supporters of The Dementia Momentum and Wipeout Dementia were also in attendance including Dr Sudarshan and Dr Naresh Sachdev, Dagmar Schmidmaier AM, Mark Gross of Morgans, Andy Kennard of Kennards Hire, Phil Butt of WM Ritchie, Geoff Nesbitt of PureProfile, Rob Gillespie and Ian Freestone.