Speaking during a church service to observe World Alzheimer’s Month, Blackett said that people suffering from Alzheimer’s were “particularly vulnerable” to all types of abuse and neglect in their homes and in institutions.
He said that these issues should therefore be treated with “a measure of seriousness” at all levels of society, and the rights of those affected should be protected.
The month is being observed under the theme “Remember Me” with officials saying it is part of the campaign to raise awareness about the condition and the associated stigma.
Blackett noted that the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association’s (BAA) proposed day care programme would provide a solution to tackling dementia as it would assist persons living with the disease, their family members and care givers.
“The association is desperately in search of a place to start their day care programmes… These programmes are necessary not only to meet the needs of those persons suffering from dementia, but also the needs of care givers.
“Alzheimer’s, one of the dementias, is a challenge, but by having persons on board who are equipped with the necessary skills, meaningful strides could be made,” Blackett said, acknowledging the work being carried out in the region.
He said a conference held here earlier this year led to the establishment of a regional committee which sought to strengthen the work of the respective Alzheimer’s associations and expressed the hope that research and the dissemination of information would significantly improve the lives of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.