Cyprus Today

Needs of Alzheimer’s patients highlighte­d


THE problems experience­d by Alzheimer’s patients were raised during a meeting between patients and their relatives and Health Minister İzlem Gürçağ Altuğra on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was hosted at the Universal Patient Rights Associatio­n Centre, was held to coincide with September 21 World Alzheimer’s Day.

Alzheimer’s Associatio­n head İzlem Sönmez and Prof Füsun Yıldız were also in attendance.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Altuğra expressed her appreciati­on for the work of the Alzheimer’s Associatio­n.

She said that the lack of care homes where Alzheimer’s patients can live their lives at “higher quality standards” is one of the “shortcomin­gs in the country”.

Mrs Altuğra said that the Health Ministry is “ready to do our part and provide support so that patients can lead a much better quality of life”.

She also talked about the importance of regular exercise, a balanced diet, quality sleep and socialisin­g in preventing the disease

and slowing its progressio­n.

Referring to global figures, Mrs Altuğra said: “Research shows that around 55 million people worldwide are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“Sadly, we see that about 10 million people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every year. This is a huge number.”

Ms Sönmez said at the meeting that the Alzheimer’s Associatio­n, which was founded in May 2019 and has more than 100 members, carries out activities to “draw attention to the problems

experience­d by patients and their relatives, to assist in patient carer training and to raise awareness”.

Ms Sönmez said that the biggest problem faced by people with Alzheimer’s who live in North Cyprus is the lack of trained carers.

To help alleviate this problem she said that the Alzheimer’s Associatio­n is planning to open a “Daytime Care Centre” similar to such centres that exist in Turkey.

Ms Sönmez said that the lack

of places where Alzheimer’s patients in the early stages of the disease can socialise, and medicine shortages, are also big issues.

Prof Yıldız, in her speech, stressed the importance of taking “preventati­ve measures” such as proper nutrition, exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol, socialisin­g and having a hobby.

She noted that the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictio­ns were a particular­ly difficult period for Alzheimer’s patients as socialisin­g and contact decreased.

 ?? ?? The meeting was held at the Universal Patient Rights Associatio­n Centre
The meeting was held at the Universal Patient Rights Associatio­n Centre

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