Employees at daily care centers for patients with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and related disorders, centres for patients with memory loss, have not seen any euro cent for the last six months. 250 social workers, psychologists, speech therapists, nurses, gym instructors and administration personnel, in the country’s centres and hostels are forced to seek other ways to cover their needs and make ends meet. For one simple reason: the state ‘forgot’ to pay them.
It is not the first time, that these employees have to wait for their salaries. I have heard about similar incidents in the past as well.
Professor Magda Tsolaki, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease, told iatropedia, that the financing of the sector amounts to 6 million euro per year.
The grim economic situation has also affected the associations dealing with dementia, and only 13 out of 33 are still active. The rest 20 have “frozen” their activities due to lack of money.
But the families of the 198,000 patients with dementia live their own drama, and as the cases of dementia are rapidly increasing, the country remains without specialized hosting structures.
In addition, ”there are no allowances for caregivers even in advanced stages of dementia, there are no funds available for research and there is no legal framework,” said Paraskevi Sakka, president of the Society for Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders in Athens.
The network to provide comfort and advise to Alzheimer & Dementia patients, their families and caregivers was established in 2002 with EU funding. After one year of operation, it is the local authorities, the Greek health Ministry in this case, that has to come up for the expenses.
However the almost 200,000 patients and their families across the country do not seem to have a strong lobby.
Only s/he who has a family member with Alhzeiher’s or related disorder can understand how important it is to have services to support the patients and their caregivers who are normally overwhelmed and can hardly deal with the special challenges of the disease.
The daily centres provide also courses’ for caregivers.
On the occasion of the International Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st 2012, Alzheimer’s Athens organizes a ‘memory walk’ from Syntagma Square to Zappeion park at 6 p.m. At 7:30 there will be a concert in Zappeion with Karasia Samaras and Tasos Karakatsanis at the piano. Entrance is free of charge.
Alzheimer’s Athens offers also Memory Tests – free of charge – for people over 60 years old.
21-23 September 2012, 10:30 am – 19:30 pm in Zappeion Megaron.
Participation only through previous telephone registration possible: 9011 404 100 ( the phone line operates only until Sept 22/2012)
Otherwise you can contact the non-profit Alzheimer’s Athens in 210-70 13 271
Athens Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders “is a non-profit organisation founded in 2002 by dementia patients’ relatives, doctors, psychologists and other health professionals interested in Alzheimer’s disease. The Association aims at promoting awareness, care and support for everyone in anyway related to the disease. At present it has 1050 official members and is run by a seven member elected board.”
PS What? Memory loss? Too bad, they can’t forget that they haven’t been paid…