Simone Martini of Milan, Italy, was recently named the 2017 recipient of the ADI-Home Instead Family Carer of the Year Award. He is being recognized for the meaningful and positive impact he has made on the lives of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and their families with his AL(z)–CINEMA initiative, the first film-event to raise social awareness ever made in Italy.The ADI-Home Instead Family Carer of the Year Award recognizes the work of unpaid family carers who help improve the quality of life for the people they care for and the greater community. This is the fourth consecutive year Home Instead Senior Care, the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, has sponsored the Award with ADI. “Simone’s ingenuity in raising awareness of this critical issue through such a publicly accessible medium is deserving of international recognition,” said Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc. “We are proud to join ADI in honoring him for his impressive work and success. It is through initiatives such as these that we can help families across the globe erase the stigma associated with the disease and educate a greater cross-section of the community about its unpredictable nature.”For the last six years Simone Martini has provided care for his aging parents, Giuseppe, 78, and Anna Maria, 77. In late 2011, Anna Maria was diagnosed with an early-moderate form of dementia, causing Simone to come face-to-face with a disease that would slowly take his mother away from him. Though this diagnosis was and remains difficult, he continues to find ways to make the most of the time they have together.Four years in to his caring journey, Simone learned of training sessions for carers offered by the Federazione Alzheimer Italia, an organization designed to improve understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. After attending a course, he joined their efforts to combat the stigma of the disease and raise awareness for its impact on families. Here he was inspired and created the concept of AL(z)–CINEMA, or “the wrong movie.” The concept: show Italian moviegoers a few minutes of a different film than they paid to see, before switching over to the correct one, providing a momentary peek into the confusion the more than one million Italians who live with the disease experience every day. The program has been a great success, with more than 150,000 moviegoers in 400 theaters experiencing AL(z)–CINEMA to date.“The work that I’m able to do for Alzheimer’s (disease and dementia) is an indirect, but concrete way for me to help my mother,” said Martini. “This award serves as a tremendous reminder of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.”Martini was presented the award at the 32nd International Conference on ADI in Kyoto, April 26-29. The conference brought together the world’s leading researchers, healthcare professionals and experts from more than 100 countries to create an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families on a global scale.“The reason Mr. Martini deserved this Award very much is that he not only cared for his parents but used his experience as well to the benefit of the Alzheimer community in his country, Italy,” said Marc Wortmann, executive director of ADI. “In him we honour the millions of caregivers around the world who do an incredible job day after day caring for their loved ones.”For more information on ADI, visit www.alz.co.uk. Or, to learn more about the Home Instead network, visit www.homeinstead.com.
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