Orders of Merit of the Italian Republic

President Sergio Mattarella conferred thirty-three Orders of Merit of the Italian Republic. President Mattarella selected a number of significant cases of civil commitment, dedication to the common good and demonstration of republican values.

Among the award winners was Corriere della Sera journalist Michele Farina, with the following motivation: “For his generous and passionate commitment to protecting the dignity and rights of Alzheimer’s patients”.

Retracing the story of his mother’s illness, Michele Farina wrote the book “Quando andiamo a casa?” (“When are we going home?”) in which he describes Alzheimer’s disease in Italy through the stories of patients, families, caregivers, researchers, facilities, and associations.
Michele Farina founded the Alzheimer Fest Association in Milan with the aim of representing all those realities related to Alzheimer’s care and to urge people to reflect on the dignity and rights of patients. Every year, the Association organises National Alzheimer’s Day with spaces for dialogue, information, and exchange of experiences. Farina says: “We do not celebrate the disease but the people who live with it. There is no offensive intent but neither is there any good-natured consolation. If we celebrate, it means that every day, besides having its proverbial pain, must also be able to give people the freedom to continue living and being with others”.
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