It’s estimated that more than 50 million people globally suffer from dementia. Not surprisingly, dementia is a disease that many have been affected by. If not personally, then through family, friends or a loved one who has struggled with the disease. It’s something ambassadors PJ Lane, Edward Caser and Keri Kitay have witnessed, leading them to join forces to encourage the next generation to become Change Makers. PJ Lane gave up his basketball career int the States to return to Australia in order to look after his father, entertainer Don Lane. Now, Lane is hoping to encourage the next generation to make brain health a priority.
“By the time those currently aged 18-40 are in their 50s, 60s and 70s, it is expected that the number of people with dementia will have more than tripled,” said PJ. “Change Makers will support research that will inevitably impact their own future.”
PR and brand expert Keri Kitay has expressed her excitement at being an Ambassador. “Advocating risk reduction of dementia from a young age throughout life by regular physical activity, complex mental activity, having meaningful social connections and reducing alcohol intake aligns perfectly with my professional mission,” said Keri, who sadly lost her mother to an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease in 2019.
“The next generation has a strong sense of social responsibility and is eager to be involved in initiatives like this. I encourage everyone in their 20s and 30s to think about their brain health and get on board as a Change Maker.”
With three in 10 Australians aged over 85 suffering from dementia, there’s never been a more important time for increased investment in research and funding toward prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The initiative is hoping to advance knowledge across all generations and ensure physical activity is maintained from a young age so as to reduce risk of dementia in later life. So, how can you help? Thankfully, Change Makers - Next Gen Philanthropy makes it easier than ever for the next generation of Aussies to make a difference. You’ll have the opportunity to make regular giving donations that combine to larger, more impactful research contributions.
In a press release, the objective reads: “Change Makers will have access to tours in the CHeBA laboratory and educational workshops that cover healthy brain ageing and modifiable risk factors for dementia, geared specifically for an 18-40 audience. Importantly, Change Makers will create a better future by ensuring critical projects undertaken at CHeBA continue to create world-first breakthroughs into prevention and cure.”
According to CHeBA’s co-directors professor Henry Brodaty and professor Perminder Sachdev, contributions to the Change Makers - Next Gen Philanthropy program will support The Dementia Momentum, which looks to find strategies to prevent or delay symptoms of dementia. “A number of risk and protective factors are already known, and since the disease process generally begins 20-30 years before symptoms become apparent, there is a window of opportunity for its prevention or delaying of symptoms,” explains Professor Sachdev.
“If our research can find such strategies, all age groups will benefit by avoiding onset of dementia as we age, by reducing the burden on carers and by reducing the economic and social cost to the community,” adds Professor Brodaty.
For more information, visit the official website here.