Dementia Care Australia was the winner of IAHSA’s 2009 Excellence in Ageing Services Award, presented during IAHSA’s conference last month in London.   Jane Verity, The Director of Dementia Care Australia,  sent us her thoughts on receiving the award so we wanted to share them with you.

Hilary and I are still on a high after our trip to London, where we were truly honoured on behalf of Dementia Care Australia to receive the 2009 IAHSA Excellence in Ageing Services Award for our Spark of Life Culture Enrichment Program.

The Award was given out on the Tuesday morning at the first plenary session, with over 700 delegates attending.  The IAHSA committee had prepared a wonderful slide show of beautiful faces of older people from around the world and before the ceremony started these were projected, together with music that tugged on the heart strings, setting the scene for an amazing atmosphere.

When Marielle Rompa, Chair of the Awards Committee, read out the committee’s reasons for choosing the Spark of Life as this year’s winner, she did it with all her heart and soul, which made the occasion very special.

Winning the award has brought a high level of interest from people around the world. Already before leaving for the conference our local member of Parliament showed great support in that he offered to give a 3 minute speech in federal parliament telling about the awards and the Spark of Life Approach. His plan is to pave the way for a presentation at their Press Club, which would give the program a wide exposure. We will keep you posted how this goes.

At the conference the award brought us in contact with like minded people who are visionary leaders sharing a common goal to improve the lives of our seniors including those with dementia. We are looking forward to entering into partnerships with them.

Dementia Care Australia (DCA) is the independent, self funded organization behind the Spark of Life. DCA provides information and education specialising in supporting both people with dementia and their carers.