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Postcards from the 33rd Alzheimer Europe Conference

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The 33rd Alzheimer Europe Conference (#33AEC) themed “New opportunities in dementia care, policy and research” was formally opened on 16 October 2023. The conference took place as a hybrid event, with delegates and presenters able to join either on site at the Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre or online, with the aim of ensuring the event is as accessible, inclusive and interactive as possible. A record number of over 1,100 participants (1,000 of these in person) from 48 countries attended the conference, which took place from 16 to 18 October 2023.

During the conference Dementia Researcher worked with Alzheimer Europe to interview members of their European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) and European Dementia Carers Working Group (EDCWG). They played a key role in the event, and were at the heart of both deciding on the conference programming in in delivering  key sessions.

We aked them about their work with Alzheimer Europe, their roles in the event and gained insights into their backgrounds, and live living with dementia or caring for a loved one.



Chris Roberts is from Wales in the UK and is the Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia. He was diagnosed with early onset mixed dementia (vascular and Alzheimer’s) in 2012, in his early 50’s. He is an Honorary Lecturer and Honorary Fellow at Bangor University, co-founder of the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group and contributes to several different expert groups.

Pia Knudsen is from Aarhus, Denmark. She is 59 years old and has a son and a daughter. She is educated as a visual artist, designer and teacher and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020 and is a member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia. Additionally, she has been involved in speaking at the Parliament in Denmark, as an ambassador of dementia in Aarhus, in public media activities and has participated in lectures with the Danish Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr Sonata Mačiulskytė lives in Klaipeda, in the Western part of Lithuania and is the Chair of the EDCWG, she is also a board member of “Dementia Lithuania”. This involvement was inspired when her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and started experiencing symptoms of pre-dementia in 2015, and as a result Sonata became her caregiver. Away from that Sonata was awarded a doctoral degree in Social Sciences and currently serves as the vice-rector of a university and is chairwoman of the national committee that forms the higher education policy in her country.

Trevor Salomon is the Vice-Chair of the EDCWG and lives in Northwest London. Following a career as an international marketer director in business software, Trevor chose to step away from his role in 2011 when it became evident, he needed to devote time to his wife, Yvonne, who has started to experience memory problems. She would eventually go on to be diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of just 57 and is now a care home resident. Trevor supports other carers and always with a positive, decisive outlook on life. He is a regular speaker at events and in the media, helping to raise awareness about those living with dementia and the challenges faced by family members who support them.

Kevin Quaid is from Limerick and was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2017 aged 53, after being diagnosed firstly with Parkinson’s. He is a member of the Irish Dementia Working Group as well as Vice Chair of the EWGPWD and co-founder of Lewy Body Ireland. Many of you will already know Kevin through his brilliant books ‘Lewy Body Dementia Survival and Me’ and ‘I am KEVIN not Lewy’ (available in all good bookshops).

Lieselotte Klotz is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and passionate sailor. She lives next to the German Baltic Sea near Schwerin and Rostock. She was diagnosed in 2017 with Lewy Body Dementia, but before that, she worked in the IT sector having founded her own company and then working as managing director and strategic manager. She is a member of the EWGPWD, an active volunteer at the Alzheimer Society Berlin and a member of the Advisory Board of the German Alzheimer Society.

Petri Lampinen lives in Finland and is a member of the EWGPWD.  He was diagnosed with Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD) in 2015 and since then, he has been working to raise awareness about dementia and to educate health and care professionals in Finland about FTD and what it is like to live with this less common type of dementia.

Dr Anna Rosenberg is a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Her research interest is dementia prevention, and she participates in Public Involvement activities for research projects in this field.


Adam Smith

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