Minister of Health, John Boyce. (FP)??

The Barbados Alzheimers Association has been commended for taking much of the worry and fear out of caring for relatives who suffer with the condition by launching a tracking device.

The accolades have come from Minister of Health, John Boyce, who told those attending the launch yesterday at the District ???A’ Police Station that the Ministry of Health would place its resources at the disposal of the Association to make sure the venture was a success.

"I am certainly sold on the idea. I want to commend the work you are doing. We at the Ministry of Health embrace all Non Govermental Organisations (NGO) efforts in Barbados especially when the NGOs take the initiatives and start these projects on their own, then of course, the Ministry of Health is only too happy through its health promotion agency to join in making sure that these endeavours are successful.

"As we grow older, it is a natural phenomenon.?? Sometimes we begin to lose our immediate memory. At the Ministry, the Barbados Drug Service continues to work with the developer of special drugs throughout the world, the [Pan American Health Organization] and the [World Health Organization] in recommending new drugs that can assist us in this regard," Mr. Boyce said.

The Health Minister added that the intervention of the tracking device removed the need for persons to resort to inhumane measures to restrain the elderly who might, at times, wander from home.

President of the Association, Pamelia Brereton, said members wanted to introduce such a device for quite some time because of the volume of calls they were getting about people with Alzheimers walking away from home.

Station Sargeant Stephen Griffith of the Royal Barbados Police Force, said the Force welcomed the technology since it would take much of the "headache" out of finding persons with the condition who went missing.??

"We in the Royal Barbados Police Force are very challenged when extensive searches are made for elderly persons reported missing and they are not found until the worst is finally known, days or sometimes weeks after. Whenever anyone is missing time of recovery plays a critical role in the condition in which they are found.

"With this technology, easy and early identification allows for persons to be quickly returned to their loved ones, hence it is not just a case of finding your loved ones when they wander away from home, but finding them alive. The launch of this critical electronic tool is a further step by the Barbados Alzheimers Association to assist families and save the lives of elderly persons across the island," he said.


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