At a time when Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have reached epidemic proportions, some of Sydney’s leading business professionals came together at a lunch generously hosted by ARIA Restaurant Sydney on Friday, 6 November to support The Dementia Momentum initiative at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA).
Guest speaker and Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum, Richard Grellman AM, spoke openly about his personal experience. His wife of over 40 years, Suellen, was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease 4 years ago and is now in full-time care.
Richard told the group that 12 of the residents where his wife Suellen lives have dementia and have significant needs in terms of support for everyday living. Most have lost their ability to communicate verbally.
Richard called upon corporate Australia to help support vital research to create a brighter future for all Australians and to help spare others this isolating, uncertain experience.
“As new advances in treatment come to the fore, early diagnosis will become more important as interventions to modify the course of the disease are more likely to work in the early stages of the disease,” he said.
Co-Director of CHeBA, internationally acclaimed researcher Professor Henry Brodaty AO, who also spoke at the event, said that by the 2060s, when over a quarter of the population will be older than 65 years and one in 12 will be over 80, spending on dementia will outstrip any other health condition.
“CHeBA’s research aims to determine which risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are global,” said Professor Brodaty.
“To achieve the goals of prevention, early diagnosis and better care, we need a new research strategy to find scalable solutions which can then be translated into real outcomes for the public.”
“We propose to deliver this through our initiative, The Dementia Momentum,” he said.
Master of Ceremonies fellow Co-Director Professor Perminder Sachdev AM said it was his hope that corporate Australia would be inspired by Richard to become a part of The Dementia Momentum and thanked ARIA Restaurant Sydney for their incredible support in hosting this annual event over the last three years.
The mission of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing is to stay at the forefront of research into neurocognitive disorders, and to change the future of age-related brain disorders. Ultimately the goal is for all people to achieve their full life span and enjoy a good quality of life unaffected by loss of cognitive ability.
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