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Sacramento vows to build on National Dementia Strategy

The Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, said she intends to build on Gibraltar’s National Dementia Strategy as she marked World Alzheimer’s Day on Monday.

She underscored the work done by her Government to help those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia in the community by providing services such as John Mackintosh Home, Hillsides Dementia Facility and the Bella Vista Day Centre.

“I aim to provide a wider understanding of the condition and to expand on the support we give to those living with dementia and their loved ones,” Ms Sacramento said, with the aim of achieving a more “dementia-friendly community.”

Ms Sacramento marked World Alzheimer’s Day with residents at Mount Alvernia, and, together, they took part in walking Memory Laps, followed by a cup of tea and a chat in keeping with this year’s theme of “Let’s Talk About Dementia”.

In previous years, some residents have joined in at the start of each of the Memory Walks in Commonwealth Park to mark the occasion. Although they were not able to go to Commonwealth Park, they kept the tradition going.

Ms Sacramento said: “Participation in such events is important in order to raise awareness and encourage a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.”

“The staff of Elderly Residential Services have again shown their energy and imagination in order that the residents could participate in this year’s Dementia Awareness Month and Memory Walks.”

“I have seen for myself just how much their efforts are enjoyed and appreciated and I would like to thank them on behalf of everyone to whom their work makes such a difference.”

“The support that exists for Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Gibraltar is beyond the excellent care that is offered in Mount Alvernia.”

“Elderly Residential Services, the GHA, including Mental Health, Ocean Views and the Care Agency all work together to provide the most support possible for sufferers and their families. We are also grateful to volunteers who give up of their time to offer support and to charities and organisations such as GADS.”

Ms Sacramento said that, during their time in office, the Government had significantly enhanced services for people living with dementia, referencing the John Mackintosh Home, which was inaugurated in 2015, providing 54 residential beds and the Hillsides Dementia Facility, which opened in 2017, providing a further 52 beds. Meanwhile the Bella Vista Day Centre delivers a community-orientated model of care with the aim of enhancing the life of people living with dementia and their families and also increases the possibility of respite.

She also mentioned the increase in home help by way of Domiciliary Care which supports individuals who live in the community, as well as offering respite and reassurance to their families.