Norwich carer Jackie Rutterford, who earlier this year was awarded the prestigious Dementia Carer of the Year prize at the Great British Care Awards, was recently invited to join world leaders in Alzheimer’s disease to discuss the findings contained in the World Alzheimer Report 2013.
The experts attending the roundtable event with Jackie included Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London, Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, Chief Medical Officer, Bupa. Jackie, who lives in Norwich, was asked to join the meeting as someone with hands-on experience of providing care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and first hand knowledge of the pressure it puts on not only the sufferer, but their family too.
The 2013 Report revealed that the global Alzheimer’s epidemic is creating a shortage of carers and that there is a lack of support for family members. It also predicted that the number of older adults with care needs would increase to 277 million by 2050 and that around half of these would be living with dementia.
In response to the global Alzheimer’s epidemic, ADI and Jackie’s employer, Home Instead Senior Care, joined together to host the roundtable discussions which were held in three international capitals to address the global impact of the disease. Jackie, who works as a senior CAREGiver for the Norwich office of Home Instead, attended the London roundtable. Two other events were held in Washington DC and Beijing.
Speaking about the event, Jackie said, “When I first received the invitation I was concerned that I would be out of my depth meeting such senior people from the world of medicine and care but they all made me feel so welcome on the day that my mind was immediately put at rest.
“The event was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the crisis we are facing and to look at it from the point of view of the many people who are providing care to family members with the disease.
“More needs to be done to let people know that there is help and support available and that they don’t have to cope on their own. Many people think that care homes are the only option when someone has advancing Alzheimer’s but this isn’t the case. There is now a greater understanding of how to manage the sometimes difficult behaviours associated with the condition. We just need to share this knowledge with more people.
“More work also needs to be done to make the general public aware of Alzheimer’s so that they can recognise and understand more about the condition.”
For more information on managing Alzheimer’s disease, please contact the local office of Home Instead Senior Care in Norwich on 01603 482116.