The Alzheimer Foundation highlights the importance of prevention and early detection of this disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease characterized by affecting an individual’s memory, thinking and behavior.
Worldwide, September is considered Alzheimer’s Month and underlines the importance of raising awareness of this disease, preventing it and detecting it early, and supporting those who suffer from it.
Josette Quintero, President of the Alzheimer Foundation of Venezuela Bolívar, explains that now is the time to take care of yourself and that it is therefore necessary to become aware of it.
September 21 has been declared World Alzheimer’s Day, but Quintero stresses that the disease should be remembered every day. The motto for 2023 is “It’s never too early, it’s never too late.”
Quintero emphasizes the importance of doing physical and mental exercises, not smoking, avoiding excessive alcoholic beverages and maintaining social bonds.
He also names obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and hearing impairments as risk factors. “During the pandemic, this depression factor emerged because grandparents were left alone (…) it is a breeding ground for Alzheimer’s,” he says.
He points out that the symptoms are usually observed by the person who is by the patient’s side on a daily basis. Some of these include memory loss, difficulty performing tasks, speech problems, disorientation in time and place.
Describe that in relation to age it is common in people aged 60 and over. However, he noted that there have been cases of younger people showing symptoms.
“For example, if you have underlying medical conditions, it can lead to Alzheimer’s, and you don’t necessarily have to be an older adult to develop it,” he adds.
The President of the Alzheimer’s Foundation expresses their willingness to be a support group. With their motto “We are with them and with you” they express that the nursing staff are also affected.
He mentions that he can get sick even if he doesn’t have family help or rest, in this case due to stress. “And that’s where a lot of diseases come from,” he says.
He explains that to the extent that a person with Alzheimer’s has the resources they need, their caregivers are less affected and can better help their family members.
“You have to inform yourself and not be afraid of it. It’s a terrible disease, but the more you know about it, the better you can deal with it,” he says.
This Alzheimer’s Month, the foundation has held special activities such as a walk and research days.
This Saturday, September 23rd, at 9:00 a.m. at the Nuestra Señora de Coromoto Church there will be a discussion on health promotion. The meeting will be attended by psychiatrist Nancy Rodríguez, director of the Bolívar Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, with a lecture on the disease.