The new headquarters for Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society (GADS) at the Old Naval Hospital was opened officially this week by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo QC MP and the Minister for Health, Care and Justice, Neil F. Costa MP.

GADS chairwoman Daphne Alcantara said she was extremely pleased that GADS had been allocated premises next to both the Bella Vista Day Centre and the Hillsides Residential Home for persons living with the disease.
“The Society would like to extend its thanks and deep appreciation to the Chief Minister, the Minister for Health, Neil Costa, and Minister John Cortes for their support. We have worked closely and productively with the three of them and are extremely satisfied to see this project come to fruition,” said Mrs Alcantara.

The new GADS premises will be open to anyone who may be worried or affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementi with The Society holding regular advice meetings. GADS House will also organise regular family support meetings for relatives and carers to develop a mutual support system.

Mrs Alcantara declared that now that the Dementia Friends Gibraltar Group had been launched, the headquarters will also be the focal point in the continuing challenge to change public opinion perceptions generally of the disease. “We have long campaigned so that no one in Gibraltar faces Alzheimer’s and Dementia alone and we want to change the way people think, talk and act about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. That is a task that we intend to pursue to transform Gibraltar into a truly Alzheimer’s and Dementia friendly community,” she added.

Mr Picardo said: “I am very happy that we have been able to allocate premises to the Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society (GADS). This hard working and committed NGO disseminate information and promote social awareness about a terrible disease. GADS also provides support and comforting advice to relatives and families. We greatly value the close working relationship forged in these past few years, and look forward to further developing our partnership with GADS for the benefit of elderly persons and others living with this condition, in conjunction with their relatives and families.

Minister Costa said: “We are delighted to have inaugurated the new GADS premises in Gibraltar, as it will greatly assist them in the magnificent work and untiring efforts they carry out to help some of the most vulnerable sectors of our community. We have established a productive working relationship with GADS and are truly grateful for all the work they carried out in helping us to furnish Bella Vista and Hillsides. GADS carry out a critically important function with the families of people living with dementia, which they discharge with admirable passion and commitment. The comfort that they give to the relatives of those that live with Alzheimer’s and Dementia is commendable.”

“The health of our community and the care of its most vulnerable members is one of the pivotal points of government. We have led an unprecedented expansion of medical services in Gibraltar, introducing a whole series of new specialised clinical disciplines, improving professional care across all sectors and investing in staffing and material resources to achieve the type of health service that Gibraltar deserves. We have also repatriated those medical services we felt could be delivered locally to save the expense and added stress to patients of having to travel abroad.

“I wish to congratulate GADS chairwoman Daphne Alcantara and her very able committee for the sterling work that they do and will continue to do in the coming years. I also look forward to continue to work with her for the benefit of our cherished elderly in our community.”