NGO Heraklion association of Alzheimer Disease and related disorders “ALLILEGII”
Description of the Allilegii activities and historical background
NGO HERAKLION ASSOCIATION OF ALZHEIMER DISEASE AND RELATED DISORDERS “ALLILEGII” Heraklion Prefect, Crete Greece, a member of the Greek Federation of Alzheimer Disease and related Disorders
Allilegii was founded in 2005 as an non-profit organization by a group of concerned citizens and family members of Alzheimer’s patients as well as health professionals. Allilegii’s main goals are to increase awareness of early diagnosis of the disease, and promote public education on the treatment and management as well as social research toward the improvement of the quality of life of the patients, their families, caregivers and their communities.
The organization relies on volunteers and personal contributions as well as space to operate donated by Spiritual Centers, parishes or Centers for the elderly. Therefore, it has to limit training activities to evenings when such spaces become available. Never the less, Allilegii has managed an impressive multidisciplinary approach toward its goals of de-stigmatizing the disease, educating the public including school children, organizing lectures for the public and participates regularly in local TV and radio. The organization is also conducting happenings and various other events of scientific and social character, organizing and participating in conferences (eg. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pan-Cretan Interdisciplinary Congress), scientific meetings and educational seminars for health professionals and caregivers in the center of the city but also in villages of the whole Heraklion Region.
The last year Allilegii participates to THALIS PROGRAM in association with University Hospital of Heraklion and general practioners, a research program for detection of dementia cases in rural area, and INTEREG PROGRAM Greece –Cyprus 2007-2013, a research program for non pharmacologic management of people with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia.
There is a phone help line available during working hours (6974192595).
For the last 3 years, the Union has been having a close cooperation with the local primary and secondary education in order to provide general information to school children in regards to the Alzheimer disease.
Allilegii operates evening programs/clinics in borrowed space made available by churches and municipalities in Heraklion city. For instance:
• Every Monday afternoon (17:00-20:00) at the Hall of Ag Pavlos Spiritual Organization in the center of the city. Should the evaluation turns out positive, the patients are placed into a special program.
• Every Tuesday afternoon (17:00-20:00) at a Hall of Kalokairinou Philanthropistic Institutions, city center.
• Every Wednesday afternoon (17:00-20:00) at the corner of Machis Kritis st. and Hefaestou st. .
• Every Thursday afternoon (17:00-20:00) at the 4th City Department, at Panagia Monastery (corner of Meg.Alexandrou st. and Kornarou st., 1st floor (elevator available).
• Every Friday afternoon (17:00-20:00), the program includes the “Cafe Alzheimer”, with an entertaining program dedicated to the patients and their care-takers intended to relieving their families, which this way are in position to use a few hours for themselves, relieved of their -often unbearable- daily burden.
In each of the above activities volunteer health professionals (e.g medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists) attempt to detect new cases of dementia in the community applying neuropsychological evaluations and provide briefing, training and emotional support to the relatives and care-takers of the patients as well as dementia patients. The Friday session also involves a social worker, a geriatrician, a gymnast and a music-therapist who run methodical programs, occupational therapy, gymnastics and music therapy. These programs, besides the necessary entertainment and joy they provide to the emotional world of the patients, are also aiming to sustain and improve their spectrum of knowledge through the treatment of problems of time- and –space orientation, behavior, communication, isolation, depression etc.