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Idalina Aguiar tells us about meeting the President of the Republic of Portugal with the National Association of Informal Caregivers

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Prior to my Alzheimer's diagnosis, I was my husband’s carer for 25 years. He became totally dependent on me following an accident. Now, I need care myself and in my country, formal support for carers does not exist. I am part of a group of carers who defend, clarify and fight for the rights of informal caregivers and wants their roles to be recognised. I am a member of Alzheimer Portugal and the National Association of Informal Caregivers (ANCI) and have previously participated in several initiatives, awareness actions, demonstrations and vigils, with both associations.

On 5 February, the ANCI was received by the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the Palácio de Belém. MEP Marisa Matias, member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance, was also present. President Rebelo de Sousa reaffirmed his support for the recognition of the Statute of the Informal Carer and renewed our hope that steps would be taken by the Government. The next day, there was a decision by the Council of Ministers to approve a legislative act with measures to protect informal carers. On my island, the autonomous region of Madeira, the Regional Government submitted a proposal for a regional legislative decree in parliament, so that the Informal Carer Statute can be recognised in the region. I am delighted to see that significant steps are being taken at regional and national levels. Idalina is supported by her daughter Nélida, to whom we are grateful for her help in translating Idalina's words to English.