Alzheimer Bulgaria Association was established through the combined efforts of families who had dependants in need of care and sector professionals.
Our goal is to closer the lives of patients and families in Bulgaria to European practices.
In Bulgaria, organizations like ours are not strongly supported by the government. All activities are carried out mainly by voluntary work of our members although there is no law on voluntary work. Care services for people in the late stages of dementia are extremely limited and inadequate and there is no support for families who take care of people with dementia in the home environment. National policies and the normative framework relating to people with dementia reflect the lack of information, awareness and coordination. Finally, there is a serious lack of trained specialists and staff at all levels — doctors, nurses, carers and social specialists.
The access to services is hindered by the system of diagnoses, regular medical check-ups, lack of information and knowledge on the regional level, and, most importantly, the insufficient engagement of the GPs in the process. The situation with providing social services is more problematic due to insufficient institutional capacity, whose development is hindered by the lack of data and information.
Alzheimer Bulgaria Association wants to ensure adequate health and social protection for the affected persons and their families, by:
- launching and participating in the development of a national action plan, which is backed by sufficient funding;
- improve the information flow from institutin to peopel and vise versa;
- formation of new professions related to caring for dementia;
- creation of new educational disciplines in secondary and higher education;
- using the Existing Institutional and Human Capacity More Effectively to the Benefit of People with Dementia in Bulgaria;
- including the general medical practitioners as a core party in the provision of health services as well as data collection;
- recognizing people with dementia as a target group separate from people with disabilities;
- it is essential to develop a system for coordination of the work of various responsible institutions;
- Early diagnosis and treatment;
Projects for the period of 2014-2015
- We finished the project „Let us hear the voice of people with dementia. Their voice is important“, funded by the EEA GRANTS.
- In 2014 we made 6 roundtables in 6 different cities in Bulgaria, with families, professionals in the health and social sphere and representatives of municipal authorities.The accumulated matter of these meetings were summarized in the Report “Providing adequate health and social services for people with dementia – obstacles and opportunities”. This report is uploaded on the website of Alzheimer Bulgaria’s Association.
- In 2015 we also started the project with the youth organization of Pleven – “Dialogue of generations. Creating a new understanding of dementia”. Within this project we trained 120 students, aged 15-16, how to react if in their family there is a case of dementia. The students were from Pleven and Teteven. According to statistics, in Teteven there are many families in which children are raised by grandparents while their parents work in other European countries.
- In 2015 , at the traditional press conferences for 21-Sep, the vice. General Director of the Bulgarian Red Cross joined us.
- In 2015 we had two meetings with business organizations – in Sofia and Stara Zagora. At these meetings we discussed the problems that relatives have while working and caring at the same time. We hold those meetings, because we started receiving signals from people, who have been fired from work, after starting to care for their sick relatives.