September is Alzheimer’s awareness month. In Indonesia, leading the movement is Alzheimer’s
Indonesia (ALZI) Foundation, with DY Suharya as its Executive Director since 2013. Prior to that, the
organization was also known as Alzheimer Indonesia Association.
What did they do in Indonesia?
ALZI’s vision is to increase the well-being of people with dementia, their families, and their
caregivers across Indonesia. It also aims to reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and to
make life with dementia visible in public discourse. Sharing these visions, Maverick supports ALZI in
through media and social media engagement through the #JanganMaklumDenganPikun (Don’t
Tolerate Senility) hashtag.
Government attention on dementia has increased thanks to ALZI’s campaigns. In March 2016, the
Indonesian Ministry of Health launched the National Action Plan on Dementia and Senior Citizens.
This action plan consists of guidelines that require every community health center in Indonesia to
employ health care personnel who are trained in elderly care and handling senility. This would allow
up-to- date information on Alzheimer’s disease to reach every Indonesian within a health center’s
One of ALZI’s collaborative initiatives with the Jakarta Special Capital Region government is the
“Purple Troops”—a special division of Jakarta civil servants who identify and take care of neglected
senior citizens, particularly ones who live with dementia.
Thanks to these activities, Indonesia has been named a role model in successfully increasing
dementia awareness relative to other members of Alzheimer’s Disease Asia Pacific. Consequently,
DY Suharya was promoted to Regional Director of Alzheimer’s Asia Pacific, and Indonesia is to host
the 20th Alzheimer’s Asia Pacific Conference in November 2017.
ALZI plans to further increase dementia awareness in young people through the following activities
in September-November 2017 and consists of the following:
1. Short film competition for students, media professionals, and the public, judged by Riri Riza
and Mira Lesmana (Director & Producer of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta).
2. Dementia themed short film featuring the rock band Slank.
3. Children’s story book on Alzheimer, launched with storyteller Paman Gery.
4. Photography exhibition showcasing the work of Jerry Aurum and Maggy Horhoruw at the
Alzheimer’s Asia Pacific Conference.
5. Charity concert featuring Paduan Suara Alumni UI, with proceeds to be donated towards
dementia awareness building.
The focus on reaching youth is driven by a study by the Ministry of Health, which found people as
young as 22 years being diagnosed with dementia. Additionally, a study from Alzheimer’s Disease
International found that every three seconds one patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This
spells a sense of urgency to raise youth awareness of dementia and its prevention.