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National Dementia Helpline


The Government launched the National Dementia Helpline to aid persons with dementia and their families, a service which will be in operation 24 hours a day and one can phone 1771 to make use of it.  This was announced by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing Justyne Caruana in a press conference Saint Vincent De Paul Residence.

The Parliamentary Secretary claimed how this initiative is just the first of a series of initiatives that will form part of the national Strategy on Dementia that was issued by this Government.  She reiterated how this helpline can assist 6,000 individuals and their families, who are currently experiencing this cruel illness, in the best way possible. 

The helpline will be managed by four nurses that were trained specifically to provide instant help in cases of emergency as well as to give information on the services being offered to fight this illness.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that Malta is the only country in the world that has a National strategy focused on specialised help that the families and patients with dementia have and that very soon the Dementia Intervention Teams will be active in the community with the aim to provide a high level service in our localities.  Apart from this, training for informal carers will also commence.  

Despite these initiatives, Caruana said that there is a lot more to be done since the number of persons suffering with dementia is increasing at a large pace and is capable of leaving negative impacts on our economy.  For this aim, the Government will begin a process by which he will open day centres made specifically for those who suffer from dementia.  The first one will be in Gozo.

Finally, the Parliamentary Secretary thanked the volunteers that work with these people especially the Malta Dementia Society (MDS), a non-government entity that from its limited resources showed commitment in the community by offering help to these persons with a limited helpline.  

Adrian Farrugia, the person responsible from the Centre of Dementia at the Saint Vincent de Paule residence is keen to continue to see a leap of quality in the services that are being offered to these elderly individuals as well as the strengthening in of the training given to nurses.