Dominican walked 50km with a global community to raise awareness of dementia in Spain

Rianna Patterson, founder of the Dominica Dementia Foundation was selected to speak and walk in Spain through Walking the Talk for Dementia, an innovative, inclusive and adventurous experience which involved people living with dementia, caretakers and healthcare professionals from over 20 countries. Led by Fernando Aguzzoli-Peres and Dr. Clara Dominguez and Gustavo San Martin. The walk was began at Sarria and ended in Santiago De Compostella, this was from the 1st of May-4th of May.

The project’s main aim was to show that people living with dementia can achieve great things, despite the diagnosis, challenges and stigma, and that together we can rethink the way society perceives this community.

On May 5-6, attendees gather at the Hotel San Francisco in Santiago de Compostela to talk about living, working and researching dementia, bringing up ideas for a fairer and more inclusive future for all. Rianna presented a talk on holistic approaches to dementia in the Caribbean.

“This experience was life changing to say the least, not only did we walk together but we engaged in deep conversations during the walk, we spent alot of time together. This event provided a unique opportunity to connect further with the community I care for and support. I left with an even stronger desire to keep advocating for dementia bearing Laurie, Des, Kevin, Terrie and all the other wonderful people living with dementia that I met on this journey in mind because they deserve to continue to live life to the fullest.” said Ms.Patterson.

Rianna also said “I also want to highlight and commend the organizers for building an inclusive experience, this was the first time I have attended an experience where people living with dementia were moderators, speakers and panelists at a conference. I hope to see more events following a person centered approach such as this.”

Fernando Peres, one of the organizers from Brazil, was inspired to do his work in dementia advocacy as his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His grandmother always wanted to talk Camino, this year he was able to do so in her memory with a global community.

Following the 50km Camino journey, a documentary will be produced, sharing the experiences of seven people living with dementia from six countries who participated in the event.

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