On April 2, 2019, the 5th annual Queen Silvia Nursing Award (QSNA) Ceremony was held at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Our scholars for this year – Sara Nyström, Maiju Björkqvist, Paulina Pergoł, and Annette Löser – received their stipends from HM Queen Silvia of Sweden. The event was graced with the presence of many distinguished guests and was a platform for important conversations around the topic of care and nursing. Below is a quick recap of the ceremony.
The ceremony was initiated with the arrival of HM Queen Silvia. The first address of the day was given by our CEO Dr. Karin Lind-Mörnesten who talked about the history of QSNA. The scholarship was established in Sweden in 2013 as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Silvia. Its purpose is to contribute to meeting one of the greatest future challenges by promoting competence and new ideas related to the good and sustainable care of the elderly and people with dementia all over the world.
Following the introduction, Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International shared her appreciation for QSNA in supporting talent and innovation in the field of nursing. She delivered an inspirational lecture about the need to “have more voice, movement and the need for the (dementia) disease to be taken seriously”. Paola shared some examples of good dementia care from all around the world mentioned in ADI’s new report “World Alzheimer Report 2019 Attitudes around dementia”, much in line with the theme of the day.
Paola’s lecture was followed by the keynote address from HM Queen Silvia. Her Majesty talked about the need to put a greater focus on caregiving and nursing to address the growing challenges of dementia. She congratulated the scholars and ended her speech with words of appreciation for the immense amount of dedication and love that nurses put into their job.
After the keynote address, the scholars received their awards from Her Majesty. Each scholar was invited on stage to talk about their winning ideas. Sara Nyström, the Swedish scholar, began by explaining her solution of foot-warming slippers to address the risk of falling in the elderly due to reduced blood pressure. Maiju Björkqvist from Finland talked about her idea of a room filled with every day, safe items that people with dementia can access, move, and touch freely. This would create possibilities for people with dementia to enjoy safe, secure and pleasant daily activities. Paulina Pergoł of Poland shared her idea of writing “letters to a friend”, an intergenerational befriending experience designed to address the problem of loneliness and isolation in the elderly. Finally, Annette Löser from Germany described her idea of an easy-to-use under-the-bed, pull-out garbage bag holder that would help nurses remove soiled items quickly and hygienically to prevent further contamination.
Photo: Yanan Li
Each scholar was also presented with gift bags from Vårdväskan and prize checks from QSNA’s partners Nordnet (in Sweden and Finland), Medicover (in Poland) and St Anna-Stift (in Germany) in order to help them in the development of their ideas and in their nursing careers.
Her Majesty was invited on stage for one final address before the end of the ceremony. She shared the story of Dagny Carlsson, a Swedish centenarian blogger whose cheeky humor and zest for life continues to inspire many. Dagny’s example serves as an archetype of the happy and healthy elderly that all societies envision and should work towards through improving their care for the elderly.
The ceremony was concluded with a mingling session between the attendees, partners, the scholarship finalist, the scholars, and Her Majesty. We wish our scholars all the best in their journey and look forward to seeing many innovative ideas in the years to come.