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Sweden

Queen Silvia takes part in conference for young people with dementia – and shares her personal experience

Birthday portrait of Queen Silvia of Sweden in 2021

Queen Silvia of Sweden took part in a conference of Nordic countries centred around dementia. 

Her Majesty took part in the last of two days of the conference, which spanned between 8 and 9 May in Stockholm. 

The Queen listened to a summary discussion on the topics that the conference touched upon over the two days, before offering a speech, in which she said, in part: “There are many of us working to create a dementia-friendly society and that we have come a long way, but there is much more to be done. All the commitment that exists in this room gives hope for the future and for successful cooperation in the Nordics.”

She also recalled her personal experience with both her mother and brother passing away from Alzheimer’s disease, something which prompted her to create the Silviahemmet Foundation in 1996 to better understand not only cognitive diseases themselves and support research on the subject but also to create a better learning environment for carers of people with such diseases. 

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The theme for this year’s conference was “A dementia-friendly society for younger people with dementia,” and Queen Silvia remarked that young people are “a group that is often forgotten and does not receive the support they are entitled to from society. A younger person with a cognitive disorder is affected in the middle of life when they are working, have a family and children at home. It is important that we all start from each individual’s unique life situation, needs and wishes.”

The Dementia Association’s annual conference is a place where experts, carers and people with dementia can come together from countries like Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway (which hosted the conference last year), Finland and the Faroe Islands. 

The conference is a place for people from Nordic countries that find themselves living in this situation to “meet to be inspired, network and learn from each other.” In addition, this year’s conference has also expanded its studies to show how the care of young people with dementia is linked to the compliance of individual nations with the UN Convention of Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities.  

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