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Alzheimer Slovenia organises online workshops and Alzheimer Cafes to ensure continued support for people with dementia and their families during COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday 21 January 2021

Spominčica (Alzheimer Slovenia) organises various online workshops for people with dementia and their families, on a weekly basis. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling outside municipalities in Slovenia is restricted, since late October 2020, and the majority of public life is shut down, including day-care/activity centres and schools. With online activities, Spominčica enables people with dementia and their carers to maintain contact, and their cognitive and social skills. Moreover, the association provides them with social support and counselling. Online workshops include training, information and resources about meaningful activities, maintaining the daily routine and using serious games. Spominčica aims to empower the relatives and carers of people with dementia, by sharing information about non-pharmacological interventions that can help maintain autonomy, reduce cognitive and behavioural decline and improve the quality-of-life of whole families affected by dementia.

Spominčica also organised online Alzheimer Cafes during this difficult period. In January, experts at these events spoke about how life has changed for people living with dementia or Parkinson's disease, and about how their relatives' lives have changed, too, during COVID-19. The challenges faced by these groups of people are difficult to manage even in "normal" circumstances, and the COVID-19 period has added a number of other problems. The President of the Commission for Medical Ethics of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Božidar Voljč, discussed the ethical aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination. "In the case of people with dementia, special consideration should be given to the ethical principle of free decision-making about vaccination. Through vaccination, each individual contributes to the health and security of society as a whole."

Dr Milica Gregorič Kramberger, Head of the Centre for Cognitive Disorders, presented the impact of COVID-19 on the management of neurodegenerative disorders. "Many outpatient appointments have been cancelled or replaced with telephone consultations, and hospital and therapeutic treatments cannot be performed due to limited options and adjustments to health care during the epidemic."

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