Serbian Society for Alzheimer's Disease marks World Alzheimer's Day with event in Belgrade and canvasses city authorities to increase availability of and funding for daycare centres


The Serbian Society for Alzheimer's Disease (SSAD), in partnership with the Serbian Red Cross and in cooperation with other civil society organisations that provide support to people with dementia and their families, marked World Alzheimer's Day with an event on Belgrade's main Republic Square. Speakers at the event emphasised the importance of raising public awareness of dementia, as well as highlighting the importance of prevention and early diagnosis. The lack of services for people with dementia and carers was also pointed out. The message of the participants at the event was also sent by the president of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, neurologist Vladimir Kostić, and one of the other speakers was the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković. The president of SSAD, Nadežda Satarić, stressed that people with dementia are not visible in public health planning and that this must change. She informed the audience that, in less than a month, 5,639 signatures were collected on the petition "Dementia isn’t picky", as part of a SSAD campaign run with the support of the Swiss Government project "Together for an active civil society". The petition asks Belgrade City authorities to include in the social welfare legal framework the right to daycare centres for people with dementia and to plan funds for the development and functioning of this service in the city's budget for 2023. The petition was supported by experts in this field, many prominent public figures and all 13 citizens' associations from Belgrade that provide some form of support to patients and their families. Once SSAD succeeds in Belgrade, it will start advocating that other local governments also develop this much-needed service for people with dementia and counselling centres for their family carers.