XXVI Alzheimer’s Day

The Health Humanization Center of the Camillian Religious in Madrid (Tres Cantos) became the focal point of a major event on April 10th and 11th, 2024, bringing the importance of providing empathetic and compassionate care to Alzheimer’s patients and support to their families back into the public spotlight. With the participation of over 600 people, the XXVI Alzheimer’s Day concluded with overwhelming success.

The event commenced with an emotional act. Brother José Carlos Bermejo, provincial superior of the Camillian religious, challenged the authorities present, including the counselor for social services of the Madrid community, Ana Dávila, and the Director of IMSERSO, Mayte Sancho, to join forces to better enhance the health and care offerings of nursing homes for the elderly, promoting “trust rather than suspicion.”

The inaugural conference, presented by geriatrics specialist Dr. Alejandro Javier Garza, provided a crucial update on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s, setting the tone for the rest of the event.

Subsequent activities addressed various areas of care and support, from managing behavioral disorders to accompanying families in the acceptance process of the disease. Specialists such as Dr. Pablo Posse and Dr. Belinda Arévalo shared their experience and knowledge, providing valuable insights to participants.

Dr. Gracia Valiente, a psychologist specializing in neuropsychology and psycho gerontology from the Parkinson Cuenca association, held a workshop on Parkinson’s and mental health, offering a deeper understanding of this disease and its impact on mental health.

Emphasizing the importance of spirituality in caring for people with Alzheimer’s, Dr. Xabier Azkoitia led an optional activity, emphasizing the human aspect in caring for people affected by this disease.

The session on residential and coexistence models for people with Alzheimer’s disease, led by Dr. Josep de Martí, Director of Inforesidencias, provided a space for the exchange of ideas and best practices among healthcare professionals.

The second day of the meeting began by focusing on the importance of Life Story in welcoming an elderly person with mild Alzheimer’s (represented by a resident of the Care Center), emphasizing the need to welcome and care both the sick person and their family: through an interactive session with the audience, the discussion addressed the ethical dimension in care and the importance of emotional enhancement in conflict situations.

After a short break, the day continued with a focus on caring for people with severe or advanced dementia and supporting their families and professionals, highlighting the importance of coordination with liaison units and support in end-of-life situations.

The event concluded with an interactive activity through electronic voting with Kahoot, followed by other sessions with conclusions that consolidated the various deliberations of the day.

The day ended with the reading of the manifesto by the Director of the San Camilo Center, Dr. José Manuel Martínez, followed by a touching tribute to people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, highlighting the importance of their dedication and free and supportive love. Participants were honored with the book “My Loved One Has Alzheimer’s” by Brother José Carlos Bermejo: a contribution aimed at humanizing the care for those suffering from this disease.

With renewed commitment and a collaborative approach, these days reaffirmed the determination of the medical community and caregivers in the fight against Alzheimer’s, offering hope and support to those affected by this devastating disease.