Costa Rica Creates First Family Plan in Central America for Alzheimer’s Patients

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The country will have a national plan for Alzheimer’s by next week, a disease that is increasing in the country. According to estimates by the International Alzheimer’s Association, in Costa Rica there are around 30,000 people diagnosed with this disease, some of whom are abandoned.

    One alarming stat is that experts estimat that Central America will have a 450% increase in the disease by 2050.

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    According to the Chief of Health, Dr. María Elena López, life expectancy is over 76 years in Costa Rica, so as a country there is a need to prepare for the care of these older patients.

    “We have no clear data on the magnitude of the problem in older adults; we know that it’s common in this population and we should be starting to take actions focused on family activity that allows for the care for patients with Alzheimer’s. We are beginning to create organized groups who are teaching about the management of this disease,” says Dr. López.

    The idea is to work with families through training while promoting exercise, a healthy diet and strong family ties.

    Meanwhile the president of the governing board of the National Council for Older Persons (CONAPAM), Zulema Villalta, says part of this plan attempts to communicate the need of the community and support a new cure for patients with this disease.

    “It is possible that today’s families have to live with people with Alzheimer’s and the plan is to articulate health, social, and non-governmental organizations, especially with the training of caregivers,” stressed Villalta.

    The director of the Technical Secretariat of Mental Health, Dr. Allan Rimola said that the plan is the first in Latin America, not only based on treating the person, but one that will also take into account the caregivers and the core family who are affected by the disease.

    “It is a degenerative disease and most unfortunate for the family because they see the whole situation change. The plan ranges from health promotion, prevention, and comprehensive care. The good news is that this is a no cost program per the government,” said Dr. Rimola.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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