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Angela Pototschnigg, member of the EWGPWD, introduces Alzheimer Austria’s pioneer project “Turn the Corner”

Saturday 08 February 2020

On 8 February, the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna dedicated its annual charity ball, under the motto “the glorious moment”, to Alzheimer Austria’s pioneer project, “Turn the Corner”.

This project aims to provide post diagnostic support for the “empowerment and social-inclusion of people with MCI or early stage dementia”. Group meetings are organised regularly, facilitated by both peers and professionals, to exchange personal experiences and share coping strategies. Input from experts is provided for the benefit of those with dementia, advising on a wide variety of subjects from physiotherapy and cognitive training, to technical supports and communication skills.

This is something I was looking for when I first began experiencing symptoms of dementia. I was overwhelmed by the scope of the problems I faced. I was depressed and felt very much alone. I am deeply grateful to the students and all donors of the Diplomatic Academy that this support structure for those with dementia can be now offered in Vienna.

The charity ball started in a very relaxed and joyful atmosphere. During the opening ceremony speeches, Ambassador Dr Emil Brix and members of the ball committee underlined the importance of supporting people with dementia. I had the opportunity to thank everyone on behalf of Alzheimer Austria. It was with great pleasure that I spoke for the first time in public, with the support of my daughter, who translated my speech from German into English.

I was amazed by the interest of the students, who talked to me at every possible moment and asked about my life with the condition. When the mood became a little more exuberant due to younger guests, I was able to observe the ball in a quieter area. Knowing that these young people are interested in learning more about us and caring for us, meant that the ball was not only a very nice evening for me, but also a “glorious moment”.