It is a disease that causes a lot of suffering, not only for patients, but also for their caregivers, namely family members, due to the challenges it brings. It was to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia that a Residential Structure and Day Center was created in Castro Marim, the first of its kind south of the Tagus.
The inauguration of this new facility, with the capacity to accommodate 70 users and provide support to a further 20, in a Day Center regime, took place on Friday, the 24th, and was attended by Ana Abrunhosa, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, who spared no praise for José Cabrita, provider of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Castro Marim, for his determination and for “never giving up, despite the difficulties”.
After all, we are talking about a project costing around 5 million euros, more than half of which is guaranteed by this institution, despite the fact that the area of influence of the Residential Structure and Day Center for Alzheimer's patients and other dementias in Castro-Marinense is entirely the Algarve and Baixo Alentejo.
José Cabrita does not hide that carrying out this work “was very difficult, really very difficult”.
“The municipalities themselves are not prepared for this. Castro Marim helped, but the biggest financial effort came from Santa Casa", he told Sul Informação.
Doing the math, the work was co-financed with 1.134.701,80 euros by the CRESC Algarve 2020 program and had support of around one million euros from the Municipality of Castro Marim.
The rest was guaranteed by Santa Casa Castro-Marinense, through equity and a loan. «We are talking about some 3 million euros of equity, which we still have to pay».
However, the SCM provider in Castro Marim does not regret the effort to build the residence, which was made thinking about patients who «need a totally different treatment».
«I get more and more worried, really worried, because these diseases were associated with people over 60 years old. But no, today we see people in their 40s or 50s. I am quite sad about this», framed José Cabrita.
“They are people with very specific needs. That's why I thought I had to do it. It cost a lot, but it was worth it », he said.
Who also shared this «old dream» of José Cabrita to create a specific response for patients with dementia, namely Alzheimer's, was Francisco Amaral, mayor of Castro Marim.
«I know very well what dementia is and I have dealt with the disease closely. I know what people suffer, especially families, who become desperate and exhausted when trying to take care of these patients», he revealed to the Sul Informação the mayor, who is also a doctor.
«You have to know how to deal with people with this type of illness. That's why all employees are undergoing specific training", he added.
Despite the difficulties in dealing with patients with Alzheimer's or other dementias, the truth is that, until now, below the Tagus, there was no specific answer for these people, many of them elderly, who ended up in nursing homes, without adequate care for their condition. .
«I think it is important to highlight this aspect, that there is no home of this kind in the south of Lisbon. This makes this work not only important for Castro Marim, but also for the Algarve and Baixo Alentejo», said Francisco Amaral.
The mayor of Castro Marim also highlighted the «creation of dozens of jobs».
«This is an infrastructure that has a specialized response in the area of Alzheimer's and other diseases and I would like to underline the importance of this work dedicated – not always, but above all – to an elderly population, which responds to a large gap in terms of regional and, therefore, today we have added reasons to celebrate», said Ana Abrunhosa.