NIA Charlestown Nevis — The following is an address delivered by Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Health Hon. Mark Brantley on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day observed on Monday September 21st, 2015
World Alzheimer’s Day is commemorated annually on the 21st of September. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Remember Me”. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-70 percent of all dementia cases and can result in memory loss including difficulties with thinking, problem solving and language. These symptoms not only affect the individual but the family and community as well.
Although age is the greatest risk factor for this disease, with persons over 65 being most at risk, other variables include but are not limited to family history and genetics.
Alzheimer’s is not contagious and there is no cure. However, there are some medications that can help ease the symptoms. Clinical trials continue to be conducted in the hope of finding a means of slowing the progression of this disease, improving memory problems and other symptoms.
In Nevis, the Mental Health Unit manages the care and treatment of some Alzheimer’s clients. This Unit has been vital in the provision of holistic care, through the delivery of services on a daily and weekly basis. In addition to clinical care, services also include emotional and spiritual support.
The Ministry of Health, through the Nevis Mental Health Unit is mindful of its role in the area of advocacy with respect to Alzheimer’s disease. As such, we are pleased to join with others worldwide on this day to educate various individuals and organizations on the implications of dementia on health services and systems and the community as a whole.
Our activities will run from 20-26 September with some highlights including an awareness campaign in the Memorial Square on the 21st, sensitization talk on VON Radio’s Lets Talk Programme on the 22nd, the launch of an Alzheimer’s Association on the 24th and the commencement of an Occupational Therapy Group for Alzheimer’s clients on the 25th
During this week, we also ask you to wear purple in recognition of this day.
On the 21st, and throughout the entire month of September, the Ministry of Health remembers those with Alzheimer’s disease, their family members and care givers. We encourage you, the general public to also remember these persons not just during the month of September but always. We encourage you to participate in the scheduled activities and play your part in ensuring that our society remembers all of our citizens including those with Alzheimer’s.