Association Alzheimer Portugal is raising awareness about the financial hardships affecting some elderly people who have to work night shifts to pay for the day-to-day bills and cost of caring for their Alzheimer suffering spouses.
Speaking to Lusa news agency on World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21), the president of Alzheimer Portugal, João Carneiro da Silva, said the association was also struggling financially but could not turn its back on so many people affected by dementia.
“I know of elderly people in their 80s working night shifts to be able to pay their bills. Some cases are very worrying indeed,” said Silva whose association relies on both public and private funding to be able to survive. “The majority of our expenses (70%) go towards paying salaries. We cannot dismiss staff as we would be in breach of contracts we have signed with the Social Security and other institutions and, frankly, without workers we would not be able to help patients.”
The president of Alzheimer Portugal fears for the future of the association and hopes further help will come in any form possible to enable it to continue its work of supporting Alzheimer’s sufferers in the country.
Alzheimer Portugal was founded in 1988 with the aim of promoting the quality of life of disease sufferers, their family and carers, and currently has 9,000 members.