21st September 2022, 20:40
Wednesday 21st September is World Alzheimers Day and a memory walk in honour of those who suffer with alzheimers and dementia took place in the evening. The walk is an annual event organised by the Gibraltar Alzheimers and Dementia Society.
The walk started from City Hall at seven in the evening.
GADS Chairperson Daphne Alcantara says it is a way to show support to families living with dementia and provides a way for people in similar situations to meet one another.
The walk forms part of events planned for World Alzeimers Month every September.
This month, GADS have highlighted the growing number of people being diagnosed with dementia.
It points to research showing that 55 million people are living with dementia worldwide, and that this is estimated to rise to 139 million by 2050.
GADS acknowledges people are more aware of what it is to live with dementia, and that there are facilities available on the Rock, but says more could be done. Ms Alcantara highlights a need for improving post-diagnostic dementia care.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister says he's recommitted his Government to doing everything possible to make Gibraltar as Alzheimer's and Dementia friendly as possible, adding he's delighted to see the work that's already been done to provide facilities for those unfortunately suffering from these cruel diseases.
Fabian Picardo joined the Alzheimer's and Dementia Society on their walk. He says he's suffered this in his own family and knows it's deeply affected many families in Gibraltar and around the world.
However, Opposition member, Marlene Hassan Nahon says that this time three years ago, the Government launched a National Dementia Strategy but that absolutely nothing has happened, in fact, she claims, our healthcare and elderly care have deteriorated notably.
Gibraltar, she adds, is noisier, dirtier, more congested and less dementia-friendly than ever.
Ms Hassan Nahon believes people living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia receive nowhere near the level of support they should be receiving and are being let down by the system. And, the wider community, she adds, has received no targeted information on how to help and better understand people with dementia and the needs of their care communities.