MESSAGE BY MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HONOURABLE CARVIN MALONE
ON WORLD ALZHEIMER’S MONTH
The Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association is a non-profit organization which aims to create awareness, encourage prevention of the disease and be the support system for families coping with loved ones suffering from the disease.
The Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association of which I am a founding member, partnered with the Lions Club and became a full member of the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) UK as its exclusive member organization for the British Virgin Islands. ADI is a global federation of 100 Alzheimer’s associations around the world. V.I. Alzheimer’s Association obtained international ranking on 19 June 2019, after participation in a two year membership development programme which guided, supported and mentored us in the development of a strong Alzheimer’s Association.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of disease that may cause the brain to fail. Because it is a progressive disease, the symptoms will gradually get worst over time. The damage caused by all types of Dementia leads to the progressive loss of brain tissue.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of Dementia. Symptoms include memory loss, decline in cognitive functions and personality changes. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s Dementia, however treatment plans can be made to address symptoms and improve quality of life.
A person with a parent or sibling with a dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease has on average a higher risk of developing the same condition themselves, although other factors such as lifestyle can also play a part.
The month of September is observed globally as World Alzheimer's Month. This is a time to recognise the impact of dementia but also to act and support those affected globally. A coordinated global voice on dementia ensures that this action is taken to advance awareness, care and science all year round.
Organisations and individuals everywhere can get involved by supporting the campaign theme and messages during the month of September. Remember to discuss dementia with family, friends and colleagues. Thank you.