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22nd Alzheimer Europe Conference: Changing perceptions, practice and policy [22 AEC] [20114305] - Conference
General objectives

The Commission Communication on a European initiative on Alzheimer`s disease ingled out four main areas for greater EU collaboration:
1. Acting early to diagnose dementia,
2. A shared European effort in research,
3. National solidarity and exchange of best care practices,
4. Respecting the rights of people with dementia.

In order to support the actions outlined in the Commission Communication on a European initiative on Alzheimer`s disease and other dementias, the 22nd AE Conference will focus on these four priorities and organise an exchange of information, experiences, projects and best practices in the following areas:
1. Medical and scientific update (early diagnosis, prevention, epidemiology)
2. Social and care aspects (psycho-social interventions, care services, stigma and discrimination, integration of Alzheimer`s disease in mental health promotion activities)
3. Legal and ethical issues (guardianship systems, consent, advance directives, patients` rights)
4. Dementia strategies and policies (public health impact of dementia, national plans, financing of care, carer support measures, image of dementia).

In all areas, AE will identify key note speakers to provide state of the art presentations on the current knowledge and understanding, whilst inviting presenters to submit abstracts on ongoing and recently finalised research, projects and experiences.

In addition, AE will collaborate with EU funded initiatives to share the progress and results of research initiatives of programmes and projects like the Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Disease, the Joint Action (ALCOVE-Alzheimer COoperation and Valuation in Europe), projects supported under the FP7 and AAL Programmes and by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (PharmaCog).

Expected achievements

In the past, Alzheimer Europe Conference have attracted between 300 and 600 participants and AE expects between 300 and 400 participants for its 22nd AE Conference in Vienna. Through its network of national Alzheimer associations, AE wants to disseminate information on its conference in all EU Member States. At its 20th conference in Luxembourg for example, 22 out of 27 Member States of the European Union were represented.

In order to encourage the participation of delegates from Eastern Europe, AE has introduced a reduced registration fee for participants from lower and middle-income countries as classified by the World Bank. For its 21st AE Conference in Warsaw for example, the early bird registration fees were for EUR 200 for participants from high income countries and EUR 100 for participants from low and middle income countries. In addition, AE will investigate the possibility of waiving registration fees for representatives of some of its member organisations who might otherwise not be able to attend.

Although the conference language will be English, it is foreseen to have simultaneous translation into German for all sessions taking place in the main plenary room (including parallel session taking place in that room). During each parallel session time slot, an additional workshop or session will be organised in German. For its 22nd AE Conference in Vienna, AE will therefore ensure a concerted dissemination of the conference announcements via its German speaking member organisations in Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Special attention will be paid in 2012 to reach out to mental health and public health experts.

Finally, AE will collaborate with other European networks (European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, the European Federation of Neurological Societies, the Interdem Network, the European Alzheimer`s Disease Consortium, the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society and the International Association of Gerontology - European Union) to target participants of the conference.

Target audience

Due to the multi-disciplinary approach chosen for AE Conferences, the programme is targeted at different audiences. AE hopes to attract health care professionals, researchers, academics and people involved in Alzheimer associations, but also policy makers and people with dementia and their carers. Additional attention will be paid to reaching out to public health experts and professionals active in the mental health field (mental health promotion).

At the 20th Alzheimer Europe Conference in Luxembourg for example, there were 318 participants which could be broken down as follows: 112 health and social care professionals, 78 Alzheimer association staff and volunteers, 49 academics and researchers, 29 industry representatives, 13 policy makers and civil servants, 12 persons with dementia and 25 participants who did not provide information on their professional background.

Thanks to its extensive network of national member organisations and its collaboration with other professional organisations (European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, the European Federation of Neurological Societies, the Interdem Network, the European Alzheimer`s Disease Consortium, the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society and the International Association of Gerontology - European Union) hopes to disseminate information on the conference to the different professional networks and nationalities.

A unique feature of AE Conferences is the involvement of people with dementia as speakers and participants and AE has created a special bursary system to encourage their participation. As in previous years, AE will therefore waive the registration fees of 10 people with dementia and cover the travel and accommodation costs (including those of their carer if necessary). At past conferences, AE was also able to provide free places to carers and people with dementia from the host country through support obtained from foundations and will seek this type of support also for its 22nd AE conference.

Conference programme

On the evening of the first day of the conference (Thursday), Alzheimer Europe will organise the opening ceremony followed by a welcome reception for participants. The conference will be opened by the chairs of Alzheimer Europe and the Austrian Alzheimer association. In addition, AE will invite representatives of the European Commission and the Austrian government to formally welcome the participants and present their respective priority programmes in the field of dementia. AE will invite a person with dementia to deliver the keynote lecture

During the two conference days, there will be a total of four plenary sessions (Friday and Saturday from 9.00-10.30 and from 16.00-17.30). These will be dedicated to the following four subjects:
1. Medical and scientific update (with presentations from the Joint Programming Initiative, the FP7 Programme and the Innovative Medicines Initiative),
2. Social and care aspects (with presentations from the Joint Action work on care approaches and the Ambient Assisted Living activities in the field of dementia),
3. Legal and ethical issues (with key presentations of Alzheimer Europe`s European Dementia Ethics Network and the Joint Action work on capacity assessment),
4. Dementia strategies and policies (with presentations on the implementation and progress of selected national Alzheimer plans and strategies).

Additionally, the conference will break out into parallel sessions (Friday and Saturday from 11.00-12.30 and from 14.00-15.30) which will again be sub-divided into the four main subject areas. The programme will be chosen from amongst the successful abstracts which will have been submitted under the call for abstracts which will be published in January 2012. A draft call for abstracts foresees the following key topics:
1. Medical and scientific update (early diagnosis, prevention, epidemiology)
2. Social and care aspects (psycho-social interventions, care services, stigma and discrimination)
3. Legal and ethical issues (guardianship systems, consent, advance directives, patients` rights)
4. Dementia strategies and policies (national plans, financing of care, carer support measures, image of dementia).

Details
Start date: 04/10/2012
End date: 04/10/2013
Duration: 12 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 60 000,00