(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to Stockholm and the Royal Palace. It is an honour to welcome you here, in the Bernadotte Library.
Completed in 1796, this room was originally built to house the Swedish National Library. Today, it contains the royal book collection: about 100 000 books that have belonged to Swedish kings – and, up on the balcony, their queens.
A library such as this is more than a room full of books. It is a site of knowledge.
And knowledge is exactly what this ceremony – and Silviahemmet – is all about. By creating and spreading knowledge and awareness of good dementia and elderly care, Silviahemmet aims to improve the quality of life for persons affected by dementia and their families.
Today, we will decorate four new Silvia doctors who have completed a two-year master’s program at Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with Silviahemmet. A successful collaboration, that also relates to master’s programs for occupational- and physiotherapists.
Today, we also celebrate 10 years of cooperation with the Order of Malta in Germany.
Through this collaboration, Silviahemmet has been able to spread knowledge to many German care professionals about this unique care philosophy. New trainers are examined annually, and a successful examination enables them to provide training to others.
After training at Silviahemmet, an entire department at the St Hildegard hospital in Cologne has been rebuilt to better receive patients with dementia when they come to the emergency room seeking care for other illnesses.
An elderly day care centre in Bottrop has also been certified by Silviahemmet. I look very much forward to continuing our cooperation in the years to come, giving more people access to high quality dementia care.
With a growing proportion of elderly people in our societies, the need for skilled care workers is great and bound to increase. And so is the need for knowledge! Which brings me back to this beautiful library... Knowledge and understanding are indeed the corner stones of our vision: a dementia-friendly society.
Let there be no doubt: there is much work left to do before that vision becomes reality.
However, with every certified care unit, and with every decorated Silvia nurse, Silvia doctor or other care professional, we are getting one step closer. So thank you, all of you, for supporting this important cause!
I now leave the floor to Deputy Head of Silviahemmet Petra Tegman. She will read the speech of our Head Master Wilhelmina Hoffman, who is not able to attend today due to health reasons.