Alzheimer’s Foundation, Rotary join forces for fundraiser

POSTED: 09/2/11 11:57 AM

This Saturday at two Grand Marché-locations

St. Maarten – This Saturday volunteers of the St. Maarten Alzheimer Foundation together with members of the Rotary Club of St, Maarten will be at Le Grand Marché in Cul de Sac and in Cole Bay to raise the awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Visitors have the option to undergo a five minute memory test.

In an internet-newsletter the Alzheimer’s Foundation refers to the case of 79-year old Victor Thomas who went missing for a few days before he was found alive, but in a very serious condition.

“Here we see how important it is to know the signs of the developing disease in its different stages and to be there for our citizens that have developed a form of dementia. Here we see how important it is that the whole community can reach out to prevent these situations of loved ones wandering and getting lost,” the foundation wrote in the newsletter.

Board members and volunteers of the Alzheimer foundation but also Rotary Alzheimer’s awareness campaign members will provide information and answer questions about forgetfulness, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Everyone who wants to make use of the opportunity to do a memory test free of charge will get a 5 minute memory test. Volunteers will inform participants about their results and give free advice.

“If you start to forget a lot, or you want to just test your memory condition now, do the test. Based upon the test result you will either be given the advice not to worry, because we all forget some things sometimes, or you will get the advice to do a more elaborate test,” the newsletter states. “The fact that someone does not score well does not mean that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Forgetfulness can have different causes. To determine what you tend to forget and which part of the memory or brain might be affected the Alzheimer’s foundation offers to make a follow up appointment for further testing.”

The memory test results will help home physician to advise patients about a visit to a specialist for further diagnosis.

Saturday is also the chance to buy an Alzheimer’s Awareness T-shirt from the members of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten. Revenue from the sales will benefit the local Alzheimer’s Foundation.

The public awareness campaign in the local media is completely managed and executed by the Rotary Club of St. Maarten during a three month Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign.

This Rotary Campaign was launched on June 15 the International Day of Awareness of Elderly Abuse and will continue until September 21, 2011 which is World Alzheimer’s Day.

The foundation encourages people to wear the awareness T-shirt as part of a general awareness day on dementia and Alzheimer’s on World Alzheimer’s Day. Companies are encouraged to buy T-shirts for their employees.
On September 21 the world will commemorate Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This disease is becoming an epidemic and more and more people are getting it, also at younger ages.

The Alzheimer’s organizations around the world are paying attention to the different faces of dementia. These are not only the faces of people with dementia, but also the faces of the ones affected by the disease of their loved one: family members, family caregivers, but also professional caregivers (physicians, specialists, nurses, care takers), and other faces of government, members of the press, radio and TV hosts, pharmaceutical companies, etc who one way or the other have been contributing to the awareness, the treatment and the wellbeing of a person with dementia and their care takers.

“It is very important to give recognition to all these faces in the St. Maarten society one way or the other and to invite more faces to join the support community for all people who are affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s,” the foundation wrote in its newsletter. “The St. Maarten Alzheimer’s Foundation is happy with the response so far from the public.
Visitors to Saturday’s events can offer the Alzheimer’s Foundation their services as volunteers. The foundation already received voluntary support from a social worker, two registered nurses, and from caregivers of dementia patients who would love to share their experience with others.

For information hotline 9220 or 522 09 25.
President Keith Franca (520 07 77) and Secretary Raymond Jessurun (522 09 25) state in the newsletter that they are on the lookout for appropriate office accommodation, and they invite people who know a suitable location to contact them. Financial contributions to the foundation are also welcome.

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