Global Alzheimer’s Day

Global Alzheimer’s Day

Clemente Ferrer

An ad campaign to promote the Global Alzheimer’s Research Summit has been launched at the Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Madrid. The Summit was held in Madrid on September 22nd-23rd, 2011. On that note, Novartis launched an ad campaign with the following slogan: “Alzheimer’s, it’s better to know”. This initiative counts on the support of the Spanish Society of Neurology, the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, the Spanish Society of Psychiatrics, the Spanish Society of Psycho-geriatrics, the Spanish Confederation of Families of People with Alzheimer’s, AFAL, and Alzheimer’s International.

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the central nervous system that is characterized by the progressive loss of memory. This disease affects about 650,000 people above the age of 65. According to the Spanish Alzheimer’s Foundation, each year about 100,000 new cases surge, a number that will double in 2020 and will triple in 2050.

The objective of the Alzheimer’s campaign, “Alzheimer’s, it’s better to know”, is to inform the public by raising awareness about the importance of detecting the disease at an early stage. This information will serve as guide for those who take care of people suffering from this pathology.

The Citizen’s Center of Laguna Hospital has launched an innovative program, pioneer in Spain, aiming to mitigate citizen absence and promote special treatment to patients with dementia at an early stage or with early cognitive deterioration. Maria Gracia Carpena, occupational therapist of the Center, explains that when they receive a new patient they conduct a comprehensive analysis in order to determine the state of his or her disease. It is only this way that the Center can work with the patients at an individual level, and thus define the aspects of the disease that need specific and special care. The program works alongside a neurotherapist and a physiotherapist.

Moreover, Laguna has invested on special software that improves cognitive stimulation in patients. It aims to favor the instrumental function of the patients and allow them to enjoy the most autonomy possible.

According to the coordinator of Palliative Medicine at the University Clinic of Navarra, palliative citizens are the only dignified outlet for a terminal diseased patient. He furthers asserts that the quality of a society can be measured by the way its citizens take care of those that are at the last stage of their lives. In Europe, there has been a growing interest to provide palliative citizens to terminal patients. Legislation is being modified. Specific action plans as well as National Plans are been elaborated. In other words, palliative care has been declared as a Human Right. (Translated by Gianna A. Sanchez-Moretti)

Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of publicity and press relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing.

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