The first"100-Member Meeting to Create Safe and Comfortable Communities for People with Dementia" (Chairman: Tsutomu Hotta) aiming to promote "Dementia Awareness Campaign" was held in Kasumigaseki Building, Tokyo, on Friday, July 8. ILC-Japan is in charge of the secretariat of this meeting and actively involved in this national campaign to sustain people with dementia in the communities.
In the meeting participated Mr. Hotta and other 10 members as the representatives, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara and other 4 as the learned in various fields, 12 members of community life-related industries and organizations like Japanese Bankers Association, 35 members of health, medicine, welfare-related organizations like the Japan Medical Association, etc. Additionally participated, as members of cooperation, 3 dementia professionals and 25 persons from promotion cooperation municipalities such as Kawasaki City.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Otsuji, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare stated, "Dementia is a top priority problem. Regarding measures against dementia, I think it is very important that local people, local enterprise and civil organizations are involved in creating the communities as well as further improvement of various measures toward future. I am grateful to ILC-Japan, Alzheimer's Association Japan, Tokyo Dementia Care Research and Training Center for their great efforts to prepare for the meeting as the secretariats." He concluded toward future, "This campaign is not merely a one year campaign but will last vigorously until 2015."
Mr. Kazuo Hasegawa, President of Tokyo Dementia Care Research and Training Center stated that it is important to "provide care which cherishes a lifelong story of each person, with people with dementia themselves centered."
Next, an official of Ohmi-hachiman City introduced an activity, in which dementia education classes are promoted not only in the neighborhood association or seniors associations but also in the companies or schools, along with the voices of participants.
All the participants in the "100-Member Meeting to Create Safe and Comfortable Communities for People with Dementia" were certified as "Dementia Supporters." Thus started the activity of "Producing a million dementia supporters" to be developed over 5 years hereafter.
Moreover, specific activities developed to support people with dementia in the communities were presented. First, a theatrical troupe "SOS" from Kawasaki City, Kanagawa played a dementia skit. Honbetsu City, Hokkaido reported an activity "Aiming for the City where People with Dementia Could Freely Take a Walk." Omuta City, Fukuoka showed their activity of reading a picture book completed together with children in a dementia care class, accompanied by music and interviews. All the participants were greatly impressed at the scenes of "Safe and comfortable communities for people with dementia" developed just in front of them.
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