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Idalina, member of the EWGPWD very active in Portugal and Spain

Friday 20 October 2017

My daughter, Nelida, and I have been very busy and have been travelling a lot lately. My daughter has a flexible job, I am so grateful that she accompanies and supports me in all these activities and travelling. My involvement would not be possible without her. This month we participated in a “memory tour” in Lisbon, a conference on active ageing in Funchal and the World Alzheimer's Summit at the Champalimout Foundation.  On World Alzheimer's Day (21 September), we had the privilege to visit the first day care centre for people with dementia in Portugal. The President of the Republic of Portugal attended this event and spoke about dementia, which was very important. At the end of the day, there was a concert in solidarity of people with dementia, and we spoke in front of a full audience who joined the 14 singers for such a noble cause. Then during the last week of September, I was invited, as member of the EWGPWD, to attend a meeting of the INDUCT project in Salamanca, Spain. INDUCT stands for Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Using Current Technology and brings together researchers from several European countries. Members of the EWGPWD are supporting 15 PhD students who are part of this project.  Our experience, perspectives and above all our curiosity about what is currently being done in the field of research is a bonus. We were delighted with the professionalism, the will to win and above all with the precious information that we were given. The institution that hosted the INDUCT meeting in Salamanca was called CREA which stands for State Reference Centre for People with Alzheimer's and other dementias. It was a huge surprise to find a centre specialised in dementia so close to Portugal. We had the opportunity to visit the centre and to hear more about the work they do.  In the centre, there are highly specialised rooms for sessions for Snoezelen (sensory rooms), music therapy, dance, art therapy and therapy with dogs. They also have an exercise room and a swimming pool amongst other things, including the famous "PARO", a robotic seal that interacts in different ways with people with dementia. It was an unforgettable and greatly enriching experience for us. We are on the right track. It is possible to live with dementia!