Republic Bank donates “Alzheimer’s Aware” funds as Association highlights need for Day Care Facility

There is a critical need for an Alzheimer’s day care facility in Barbados as most elder care homes and other facilities are not well equipped to handle the increasing numbers of Barbadians suffering with varying degrees of Alzheimer’s.

President of the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association, Pamelia Brereton recently drew attention to this under-reported but dire situation as she accepted a donation of funds raised via the inaugural Aware fundraising event hosted for Republic Bank.

As an indication of the severity of the present situation regarding Alzheimer’s in Barbados, Brereton said a rudimentary calculation done in 2014 had shown that over 4000 people were affected at that time, adding that this number had likely grown significantly since then.

“The need is urgent; so yes we are working on establishing a Day Care Centre specifically for people with Alzheimer’s. So far we’ve raised just over $100 000 which is not enough; and we still have to take care of regular staffing expenses and overheads where we are. We are very happy that Republic Bank has chosen to assist, and this donation will certainly help, while we continue working towards the Centre.”

Brereton cautioned the general public against believing that Alzheimer’s only affected the very old.

“In other countries young people in their 30s are affected, but here in Barbados people in their 40s, 50s and 60s are coming down with Alzheimer’s. Then there is the question of more women presenting with Alzheimer’s than men; and apparently also around menopause, as that too, can apparently trigger dementia.”

A founding member of the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association, Brereton said, local care facilities were already overwhelmed, and Alzheimer’s sufferers tend not to receive the treatment, care, and understanding that they require.

“We are looking for a place that would be very serene. Somewhere that can be environmentally friendly and spacious enough for people to manoeuvre freely; because one of the things I find is if you put them in a home, most homes are not equipped enough to deal with them.” Republic Bank’s General Manager, Retail Banking, Susan Torry, who presented the donation said having been made aware of just how critical the situation was, Republic Bank wasted no time in planning the event as an annual fund raiser towards the cause. She thanked members of the local business community who supported the event, adding that Republic Bank looked forward to the second Aware event being an even more successful event in 2017.

“Republic Bank is an indigenous banking institution. We are sensitive to the needs of our customers and their families in communities where we operate, here in Barbados and across the region. We are certainly pleased to make a contribution to a better future for people coping with Alzheimer’s.”

October 14, 2016
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