ADI held a regional workshop on Alzheimer’s at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort in Philipsburg, St Maarten. The two-day workshop, which was opened by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, took place on the 22nd and 23rd of August and was attended by participants from Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Jamaica, St Maarten, Tortola, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Participants discussed what is happening in their country and region about dementia, innovative approaches and practices being used, and barriers to community or government action on dementia. Participants also discussed National Alzheimer’s Plans, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Regional Plan, Ageing in the Caribbean, Dementia as a major Non-Communicable Disease and the 10/66 Global Dementia Research Group in the Caribbean. An action plan and calendar of events was drawn up for the rest of the year.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a presentation by a former senior Civil Servant in St Maarten who is experiencing the early stages of vascular dementia. This was followed by a presentation by his wife. While both affirmed their love for each other, they were honest about the difficult challenges they were going through as a result of his illness. Participants were exposed to the inner world of a person with dementia, the impact on the family, and how their love was supporting them on their journey. It was a very moving experience. Participants are looking forward to seeing this couple at the 29th International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International which will be taking place from 1 – 4 May, 2014 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Published August 27, 2013