H.M. Drottningens tal vid Dementia Forum X

Kungl. Slottet, Stockholm

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Your Majesty,
Your Royal Highness,
Madam minister,
Your Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Two years ago, I stood on the stage, closing the first Dementia Forum X meeting. At the time, I spoke of my own personal journey and how it came to be that twenty years earlier I founded Stiftelsen Silviahemmet. The theme for that address was the development of the past two decades and our hopes for the future.

Today, I would like answer two questions.
First: what has been accomplished during the two years since we last met here in Stockholm?
And second: How can we make a difference for those who are and will be affected by dementia in the future?

But first of all, please allow me to acknowledge the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain. Queen Sofía herself is devoted to the issue of dementia through her Fundación Reina Sofía. I wish to commend Her Majesty and the foundation for their excellent work. I hope that over time we can continue our collaboration and work closely together to make a lasting difference.

Since we met here in Stockholm two years ago, much has been achieved.

Among other things, we have continued to add links to the educational chain that we aim to complete, including academic Master’s Courses in dementia care for physiotherapists and occupational therapists through the Karolinska Institute.

One recent development, that I would like to point out especially, is SilviaBo. A project that represents much of what we have been talking about here today.

The idea of SilviaBo is to offer adapted yet affordable housing for couples where one person is living with dementia. By creating a home environment that is well thought-out and in close proximity to specialist care, we hope to make it possible for couples to continue living together, in spite of the disease.

SilviaBo is a collaborative project between Silviahemmet, Mr. Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA and BoKlok.

For those of you who are from Sweden, these names are probably familiar. However, for those of you who don’t know them; Mr. Kamprad is the founder of IKEA. BoKlok is a joint venture between IKEA and Scandinavia’s largest construction company, Skanska.

Thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Kamprad, and by utilizing a concept devised by BoKlok to construct more economical housing, the idea of SilviaBo could be realized in just 18 months; a very short time. Expertise from Silviahemmet has been involved from the start to adapt the apartments to the needs of individuals living with dementia.

In my opinion, this is a shining example of how working together and collaborating across sectors can make even the largest projects possible.

I look forward to welcoming you all to Drottningholm this afternoon to showcase these homes to you. And I hope that over time, we will see this living concept in many other parts of the world.

Over the last two years we have also continued working on some long-term projects that we believe over time will have a great impact in the field of dementia care.

Queen Silvia Nursing Award is one such project: a scholarship for nursing students, in which students apply by submitting ideas for an improved care of the elderly or those living with dementia. Founded in Sweden in 2013, it is awarded in four countries; Sweden, Finland, Poland and, as of this year, Germany.

Since its founding, almost two thousand ideas have been offered as submissions for the scholarship. Many of them have been published online, for the benefit of those who need them the most: caregivers all around the world. And we are dedicated to the development of smartphone applications and other digital tools. We embrace new technology and the opportunities it offers to share knowledge and to improve the lives of those living with dementia.

To mention just one example, our app Memory Box now contains a large music library. Music has been shown to be of great value to increase the wellbeing of persons living with severe dementia. It can in fact have the most astounding impact when it comes to memory and recollection. By working with the technology of Spotify, playlists with music from the 1920’s and onwards have been created to aid finding songs from the past.

This leads me to the second question that I want to address today: How can we make a difference for those who are and will be affected by dementia in the future?

Let me answer that with just one word: collaboration. The only way that we will be able to meet the challenges that dementia diseases pose is by working together – across sectors and between fields.

Therefore, collaboration is the overall theme and purpose of Dementia Forum X. It is also one of the pillars on which the care philosophy of Silviahemmet rests.

When we collaborate, there is no limit to what we can achieve. That is how we can make a real difference.

Ladies and gentlemen: I would like to thank all of you for the work that you do, for your dedication and for being here today to share your knowledge. Thank you to all of you that have made this meeting possible.

I hope that this second Dementia Forum X will be followed by many more. I am already looking forward to it!

Thank you.