AAD was founded in 2012 by our President Elizabeth Stewart whose mother lived with Alzheimer’s disease from 2004-2012 and had been diagnosed at the age of 67. At that time, there was little information available and nowhere to turn for support. Her goal was to make sure that no other family living with Alzheimer’s disease would have to go through the journey alone.
AAD was created to be that resource for families in their time of need. We provide support and assistance to callers, along with connecting them to local resources on the island. To help individuals the charity has support group meetings each month and provide a range of in person and zoom activities which includes music, games, art and movement.
AAD has also worked with professional caregivers and dementia-care settings to provide them with additional training and education to elevate the level of care they provide on a daily basis. AAD through the Dementia Training Company UK, has trained and educated more than 250 individuals including formal and informal caregivers, first responders (Police & Fire) along with those working at King Edward Hospital.
President & Founder
Elizabeth recognized a lack of resources and information in the community for families and for those living with dementia after her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 67. As a result she founded and set up Action on Alzheimer’s & Dementia as Registered Charity (#929) in 2012. Her hope for the organization is to not only to provide valuable information, resources and advocacy, but also to motivate and inspire the community to improve the lives of people living with dementia in Bermuda. Elizabeth also works as Senior Vice President at Markel Bermuda Limited and she received her Director Certification from the Institute of Directors in 2019.
Vice President & Treasurer
Grainne joined the AAD Board in 2016. Her personal experience with Alzheimer's disease began in Ireland when her grandfather was misdiagnosed in the 1980s before his death, followed by the death of her best friend’s mother, also a dementia patient. An accountant and insurance manager, Grainne is former President of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association and the Vice President of an independent insurance manager based in Bermuda and Cayman.
Director - Fundraising
Melissa joined the AAD Board in 2016. Melissa is a Chartered Accountant and is currently the President & CEO at CPA Bermuda. Melissa ran the May 24th half marathon for AAD the first year the charity started and since then has been involved in some way with AAD. Melissa previously worked at Zurich and managed the Z Zurich Foundation grant program with AAD and Zurich from 2016 to 2019 which supported the AAD activities programs. Whilst at Zurich, she also organized the annual Caregiver social, AAD Aquarium trip and Christmas giving tree. Melissa's father in law was diagnosed with dementia in 2018 and Melissa has seen first hand the need for dementia support and services in the community.
Secretary & Compliance Officer
Laura joined the AAD Board in 2014, welcoming the opportunity to work with the charity to improve the lives of those affected by dementia in Bermuda. Laura’s corporate background aids in the administration and compliance aspects involved in running AAD and she is keen to collaborate and partner with stakeholders in the community to achieve AAD’s vision.
Joanna Heaney is a registered general nurse with experience in critical-care intensive care, emergency room care, and hyperbaric and wound care—including the teaching of pressure ulcers prevention to healthcare providers. Her personal experience with Alzheimer's disease and care began with her grandmother who was diagnosed in 1981 and cared for within the family home until her death a decade later.
Director - Communications
Mandy joined the AAD Board in 2020. Her personal experience with Alzheimer’s began in 2015 when her mother was diagnosed at the age of 65. She has seen first hand the devastating effects of the disease and just how much the charity supports those affected and their families. Mandy’s background is in Marketing and Communications.
Simon Van de Weg
Simon joined the AAD Board in 2019 after coming to understand the importance of the charity’s role in providing resources and services to meet the increasing needs of individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Particular areas of interest for Simon are in helping increase the reach of AAD within the community and influencing improvement at a country level in how we help those impacted by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Simon is an executive at Clarien Bank Limited which also is a supporter of AAD.