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Idalina Aguiar, a member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, talks about her new project “COFIQue a Rir”

Thursday 28 May 2020

COVID-19 has been a difficult time for everyone. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias or indeed any chronic illness or disability, this period of confinement has been exceptionally confusing, stressful and lonely. People need and crave human interaction and stimulation and without it, they become lost and depressed. Although I was obliged to stay at home, and even though the usual supports were gone, I still had the privilege of being part of a supportive community. Volunteers and professionals from Alzheimer Portugal, " Lugar de Memórias" and "Garouta do Calhau" have kept me stimulated and given me daily or weekly support and challenges that keep me motivated and encouraged.

Aware that not everyone receives this kind of necessary emotional support, I decided that, with the support of my wonderful family, my daughter Nélida and another friend, we would create a way to share “smiles instead of hugs”. We created a new Facebook page called "COFIQue a Rir". The object of this project is to share home videos, of kids and adults, with music, exercises, theatre, dance, ballet, and any other material we can find that will engage and benefit others in similar circumstances. Our motto is: “Laughter is the music of the spirit”. If we can make people laugh, that already has made a positive difference. So far, our efforts were reported in the Local and National newspapers and we know that we have reached 8 institutions. We challenge our friends and followers to join us and publish and share their small contributions, in order to bring a little more joy to those who are alone and isolated. 

Like our Facebook page of "COFIQue a Rir":

Idalina is supported by her daughter Nelida, to whom we are grateful for her help in translating Idalina's words to English.