Athens Association of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders
The Athens Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders was founded in 2002 by people with Alzheimer’s, members of their families, and health professionals involved with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The organization’s mission is to support people with dementia as well as their caregivers, to mobilize the government in order to defend their rights, to establish structures for their care and to raise awareness regarding the prevention of this disease for the elderly. The Association offers a variety of services, including 4 Day Centers, a Memory Clinic, groups for the training and support of caregivers, a medical office for the psychiatric support of caregivers, and training of health professionals. Additionally, the Association participates in public campaigns for dementia prevention and in research projects & European programs. It also publishes and freely distributes informational printed material and is active in trying to promote the National Plan of Action for Dementia-Alzheimer’s Disease. The Association also operates Counseling Stations for Dementia in Athens and in the Cyclades.
The grant regards the creation of a care at home program for patients with dementia that will focus on the caregiver and will have as priority to improve the services provided to the patient. The program will last a year and will serve 100 families of dementia patients through home visits. The intervention for each family will last three months, with 25 families being served each trimester. Geographic and income criteria will be used in order to make the final selection of program participants, with priority being given to lower-income families, mainly located in municipalities in Western Attica. Services offered to caregivers will include: a) information on key issues affecting persons with dementia; b) education in crisis management; c) education in respite techniques and improvement of self-esteem of the caregiver; d) family counseling. In addition to these significant services, the program, through a team of 2 psychologists, 1 nurse, 1 social worker, 1 physical education specialist, and 1 psychiatrist, will offer various services to persons with dementia, such as: a) medical exam and neuropsychological evaluation for a general care plan; b) periodic nursing care with the end goal of educating the caregivers in matters such as prevention of falls and education in first aid; c) counseling regarding ethical and legal rights as well as welfare/insurance matters. A health professional from the team will take on the role of Family Mentor and will be available by phone throughout the duration of the program as well as after the program’s culmination. The program is especially significant in that it is the first care at home program in Greece that has the caregiver as its focus.