Groups host reading hour to sensitize children to dementia
Dementia Friends Puerto Rico, the Alzheimer Association and the Caguas Center for Science and Technology (C3Tec) organized the reading of “Why is my grandmother different” for a group of children aged seven to 13 to promote awareness about dementia and the inclusion of people with these conditions in their events.
Two volunteers from the Alzheimer Association of Caguas read the story and facilitated the discussion.
“In our culture, grandparents have a special role and children often notice behavior changes when dementia symptoms show up, yet they don’t understand what is happening. This is an effort to generate awareness and empathy for their grandparents and others who develop these conditions,” said Lydia Figueroa, director of Community Outreach at Triple-S, which jointly with the Puerto Rico Alzheimer Association has launched a public awareness effort through the Dementia Friends movement.
During the event, the children shared some of the experiences they have had with their grandparents. Some of the participants said their grandparents have Alzheimer or other dementias, which validates the need to start educating younger populations about these conditions.
At the end of the event, each participant received a Dementia Friend certificate and signed a pledge to support their grandparents.
In Puerto Rico, it is estimated that there are 80,000 people with dementia, of which approximately 60,000 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer.