24th April 2018 marked a momentous occasion for Swedish Care International, as it, together with Westfield Inc., organised the first-ever international version of Dementia Forum X in Tokyo, Japan. Titled Dementia Forum X Japan, the meeting welcomed many high-level guests in the dementia care field and celebrated 150 years of diplomatic relations with Sweden and Japan. We were also very honoured to have Her Majesty (HM) Queen Silvia of Sweden to be present at the meeting.
Dementia Forum X Japan kicked off with opening speeches from Mr Hiroshi Nishino (Chairman of NI Intelligent Initiative), Her Excellency Mrs Seiko Noda (Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication) and Ms Mizuho Onuma (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare).
Following up, HM Queen Silvia of Sweden shared a personal and heartfelt speech, as she recalled her experience with dementia in her family and talked about the reason why she founded Stiftelsen Silviahemmet in 1996. She also gave a special mention to Japan Swedish Care Institute (JSCI), a long-time national education partner in Japan.
Mr Claes Dinkelspiel (Chairman of Swedish Care International) and Dr Karin Lind-Mörnesten (CEO of Swedish Care International) then gave a speech Dementia Forum X – a brief history and a bright future. In their speech, they introduced Dementia Forum X and its progress since the first Dementia Forum X meeting in 2015. They concluded their speech with the plans for the future of Dementia Forum X.
The meeting continued with the first of two dialogue sessions, which was moderated by Ms Ritsuko Inokuma (Yomiuiri Shimbun). In the first stage dialogue Education in dementia: how do we further Japanese-Swedish collaboration and share know-how, Dr Wilhelmina Hoffman (Principal of Stifitelsen Silivahemmet) and Ms Akie Kimoto (Silviahemmet Instructor at JSCI) spoke about the importance of dementia education and the successful collaboration between JSCI and Stiftelsen Silviahemmet, which started with the first training of Japanese instructors in 2006. Since then, more instructors have been certified under the Silviahemmet care philosophy in Japan.
Next up, we had Ms Britt Monti (Senior Creative Leader of IKEA). In her dialogue Future Living solutions for the ageing population by IKEA, she shared a range of products named OMTÄNKSAM, which were designed with the help of ergonomists, physiotherapists and researchers in various fields and focus groups with the elderly. She also talked about the eventual collaboration with Stiftelsen Silviahemmet to launch the SilviaBo apartments that are uniquely adapted to suit a person living with dementia and their partner at an affordable cost.
The first dialogue session was concluded with a speech by Mr Yoshihide Ezaki (Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). Our guests then broke for lunch and a networking session at the Embassy of Sweden.
After lunch, our second dialogue session commenced with a dialogue How to enhance innovation in dementia care by Ms Fanny Enström (Director of Queen Silvia Nursing Award) and Ms Rebecca Eriksson (2017 Queen Silvia Nursing Award scholar). In this dialogue, Ms Fanny Enström, who was an experienced nurse, talked about how nurses can learn to be more innovative and creative. Ms Rebecca Eriksson, who is an aspiring nurse, then shared her winning idea of a toothbrush that sends reminders to the person with dementia when it has not been used for 24 hours. She also shared her inspirations for the idea and aspirations to improve oral care for the elderly.
In the dialogue Diagnosis, Disease Management & Support, utilizing mHealth to improve lives of those living with dementia, Mr Haza Newman (CEO of Geras Solutions), Mr Masanori Miura (Director of Konica-Minolta) and Mr Takeshita Yohei (CEO of Bi Brid KK) discussed and gave exclusive insights into the eHealth industry. The trio also talked about the challenges, such as privacy issues, and opportunities for the future. To cap off the final dialogue of the day, Mr Haza Newman also shared a glimpse of the up-and-coming Geras App, which aims to connect users with dementia specialists and provide dementia risk assessment and tools to slow down cognitive decline.
After a quick coffee break and a visit to the exhibitions, we started our panel discussion Future pathways: 4-person dialogue on the keys to succeed in dealing with dementia, which was joined by Mr Hiroshi Nishino, Dr Jiyunichiro Toya (Silvia Doctor), Mr Christian Scott-Rasmusson (CEO of SR-B) and Mr Markus Engström BDD (Japanese venture Z-works K).
The Dementia Forum X Japan meeting then came to an end with closing remarks from Mr Ludvig Mörnesten (Deputy Managing Director of Swedish Care International).
We sincerely thank every guest at Dementia Forum X Japan, who has in one way or another pushed and continues to push for greater awareness about dementia and better solutions for dementia care all around the world. We would also like to specially thank Westfield Inc. for co-organising a successful Dementia Forum X Japan.
To see more photos from the day, visit Dementia Forum X.