AREA

Cognitive Neuroscience

SITE

Alzheimer’s & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association

TYPE

Articles

YEAR

Formal publication: January 2024

Authors: Aguzzoli Peres, F., Haas, A. N., Martha, A. D., Chan, M., Steele, M., Ferretti, M. T., Ngcobo, N. N., Ilinca, S., Domínguez-Vivero, C., Leroi, I., Sajnani, N., Zimmer, E. R., Kornhuber, A., Kalache, A., Holtzhausen, B., Tristão-Pereira, C., Dupont, C., Cohen, D., de Jong, D., Facal, D., … Ibanez, A.

Abstract: Coping with dementia requires an integrated approach encompassing personal, health, research, and community domains. Here we describe “Walking the Talk for Dementia,” an immersive initiative aimed at empowering people with dementia, enhancing dementia understanding, and inspiring collaborations. This initiative involved 300 participants from 25 nationalities, including people with dementia, care partners, clinicians, policymakers, researchers, and advocates for a 4-day, 40 km walk through the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. A 2-day symposium after the journey provided novel transdisciplinary and horizontal structures, deconstructing traditional hierarchies. The innovation of this initiative lies in its ability to merge a physical experience with knowledge exchange for diversifying individuals’ understanding of dementia. It showcases the transformative potential of an immersive, embodied, and multi-experiential approach to address the complexities of dementia collaboratively. The initiative offers a scalable model to enhance understanding, decrease stigma, and promote more comprehensive and empathetic dementia care and research.