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Idalina Aguiar shares details about a new book, based on a project she participated in with Alzheimer Portugal in Madeira

Tuesday 18 June 2019

On 18 June, a book called "Com Aromaticas Me Conquisatas” (with aromatics, you win me over) was published in Portugal. It represents the culmination of a project with the same name, promoted by Alzheimer Portugal’s Madeiran branch and the Continent Mission, which took place between April and December 2018. This project, which involved a number of partners and aimed at promoting / strengthening intergenerational relations, included people with dementia who attend our association and children at the nursery "The Carrocel", as well as children from other institutions.

By creating intergenerational links, the aim was to avoid segregation and isolation of people with dementia; to promote social inclusion; to promote the sharing of experiences and wisdom with the young; to provide meaningful activities for people; to combat negative stereotypes in society; and to promote the well-being of people living with dementia. This project also intended to inform children that dementia is not just part of normal ageing.

During the project, we carried out several activities related to gardening and horticulture, namely planting and watering herbs. The opportunity for the stimulation of the senses was very positive. There were also many moments of sharing. Participants, together with the Alzheimer Portugal psychologists and a nutritionist, organised monthly workshops with the children, on herbs and their importance in healthy eating.

The project dedicated some sessions to cooking - an opportunity for the people with dementia who attend our association to prepare some dishes. These sessions resulted in 8 recipes that are available in the book. We wanted to involve the community in this project, and we promoted herbs and their importance in food. Several workshops were held, and at each one, a guest presented a dish using a certain aromatic herb. Some people with dementia participated in these workshops. The result was 11 recipes, all of which are also in the book.

A workshop on the MIND Diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) and another on Organic Farming were also held and people with dementia, as well as other members of the community, attended. 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.

Pictured:Dr Isabel Fragoeiro (president of Alzheimer Portugal in Madeira), Dr Bruno (nutritionist and author), Idalina Aguiar (member of the EWGPWD), Dr Pedro Ramos (Secretary for Health), Dr Gonçalo (psychologist and author) and Dr Vânia Jesus (president of IHM)