NEF – Awards for ‘Living Well with Dementia in the Community in Europe’

Ten projects led by community-based organizations from eight European countries were presented with awards in Brussels on 16 January at a ceremony in the presence of HRH Princess Mathilde of Belgium. The awards, each worth up to €10,000, are part of a wider project called the European Foundations Initiative on Dementia (EFID), and are designed to recognize and encourage the dissemination of good practices that help people with dementia and their families to live well and participate actively in their local community.

The award winners were selected from 81 eligible projects. The jury awarded inspirational projects, evaluating candidates in terms of social innovation, effectiveness of the project, impact and sustainability of results. (Pictured below: award winners with HRH Princess Mathilde.)

NEF_EFID_laureateDementia is one of the biggest problems facing European society today. The spontaneous reaction of people when confronted with Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions is generally fear or even rejection. Actors in the field stress the importance of changing existing one-sided perceptions of dementia. Respect for the patient’s autonomy, local initiatives and more compassionate care could bring significant improvements to the quality of life of those with dementia and their carers. Civil society at local level (such as local authorities, NGOs, the police, volunteer organizations and neighbourhood committees) can contribute to this through education and information, communicating a different, more balanced view of dementia, and encouraging people locally to take responsibility for how those with dementia are integrated in and supported by society.

Improving perceptions of dementia and stimulating solidarity at local level were the motivation for a group of foundations, comprising the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Fondation Médéric Alzheimer, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, to fund the EFID programme under the NEF umbrella.

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