In 2013, the Alzheimer Society of Finland celebrates its 25th birthday with the motto TAKE CARE!
The motto stems from a true recent story: a woman with Alzheimer's disease wandered outside her home and got lost during a freezing winter day. She walked around for hours, but nobody stopped her and no one asked her if she needed help; she died later the same day in a hospital.
The Alzheimer Society of Finland wants to build a safer life for people with memory-related diseases by raising awareness about safety issues and basic human rights. The society is challenging all Finns to TAKE CARE! of themselves and the people around them. We all need each other occasionally and no one should have to survive alone.
The 25th year of the society will be filled with activities: these have already begun and will run up to a climax on World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September. On 1 February, the Alzheimer Society of Finland held a forum for policy makers, member associations and the media in the Parliament of Finland, so called Little Parlament. The audience first heard a moving speech from the daughter of the woman who died of exposure and inspired the TAKE CARE! motto. This was followed by presentations from Sirpa Pietikäinen (MEP and Vice Chairperson of Muistiliitto), Merja Mäkisalo-Ropponen (MP and Chairperson) and Eila Okkonen (Executive Director). Finally, Anna Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen (Senior Lecturer in Family Law) introduced the new Alzheimer Europe report about ethical issues linked to restrictions of freedom of people with dementia.
The society consists of a national office with 3 local branches and 42 local associations across the country with almost 11'000 members altogether.
The Alzheimer Society of Finland works nationwide to achieve the following goals in mind. We organise 3-4 seminars annually for professionals in the dementia field. It also offers tailored training for staff in dementia homes and wards and theme lectures for schools, associations and public occasions.
- Improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers.
- Promote the legal, economical and social rights of people suffering from dementia.
- Develop the support system of people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.
- Educate the professionals in health care.
- Influence the attitudes towards people with memory disturbances.
- Influence the political decision making process.
The society is a member organisation of the Alzheimer's Disease International and Alzheimer Europe.