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GHA to conduct dementia study

The Gibraltar Health Authority is conducting a study into incidence of dementia within the community by analysing the annual prevalence of the condition.

This comes as data provided by the Government in Parliament revealed that, as of December 2019, some 410 people were living with dementia in Gibraltar.

Of these, 152 people are currently receiving domiciliary care and there are 30 people on the Elderly Residential Services waiting list.

In line with this and in a recent question and answer session of Parliament, Together Gibraltar Leader Marlene Hassan Nahon also asked the Government when it will establish and select the National Dementia Committee.

The Minister for Health, Paul Balban, said the Committee was established in January but its work is unlikely to commence until the final quarter of this year.

He added that the Government considered that dementia was so “widespread and so important throughout the community” that the Committee would comprise the heads of a cross-section of Government departments as well as the Commissioner of Police and the Tourism CEO.

Asked about the scope of the study by the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, Mr Balban said internal reports conducted by the Clinical Director for the elderly had been carried out since 2018 to examine the prevalence of the condition in Gibraltar.

Pressed as to whether the GHA would examine future trends, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said this study will give an indication as to what is to come.

He added that both sides of the House would agree that “We need to be making an assessment of how we expect dementia to be manifesting itself in our society in the future.”

This study will therefore give an indication of rates today so that the GHA can extrapolate forward, he explained.