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Idalina Aguiar is proud to be included in the photos chosen by the President of Portugal, of his favourite moments of 2019

Sunday 16 February 2020

I live at home with my sister, Clarita, who takes care of me. I was a caregiver myself but since my diagnosis of dementia, I have also become in need of regular care myself. Although life is often hard, I am so grateful that I have my sister Clarita and my daughter, Nélida and that I can remain at home with my family around me. Not everyone can enjoy this privilege.

Nélida and I are both members of the National Association of Informal Caregivers and we seek better conditions and recognition for those who stay at home to care for their families. On 20 February 2019, to show his support for our cause, the President of the Portuguese Republic attended an event organised by the National Association of Informal Caregivers and I was proud to be next to him in the official photograph taken of this event.

Almost exactly a year later, in February 2020, a weekly magazine in Portugal called SÁBADO (Saturday), published the same photograph. The President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, had accepted the SÁBADO challenge and chose 12 special photos taken by his official photographers, one for each month of 2019. In some of these photos, the President recalled meetings with Pope Francisco, President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  It was with huge pride that I recognised that his photograph for February 2019 was the one taken at the event of the National Association of Informal Caregivers, where I stand beside him and am hugged. This gives me great hope for the future. Idalina is a member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) and is supported by her daughter Nélida, to whom we are grateful for her help in translating Idalina's words to English.