4. Foundation Compassion Alzheimer, Bulgaria

Where: ‘Bureau of complex social services’ in Varna, ul. Pop Hariton 4 and mobile services for small settlements in the Sofia region (Buhovo and Kremikovtzi), Bulgaria

Who is involved: The Foundation Compassion Alzheimer, a non-governmental organisation, was created by people with dementia and their families in 2004 to help and support older people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and their families and friends. Thanks to a 3-year twinning grant from Alzheimer’s Disease International, a programme that provides support for core activities of ADI members, the Foundation was able to expand its activities.  In 2012 the Foundation won an EFID award for engaging in a robust programme to sensitise the general public, and creating the first primary services for people with dementia and their families.

Nature of activity: The Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia by changing attitudes and practices towards them and providing access to treatments and social support. Activities include: provision of innovative social services (legal, psychological consultations for people with dementia and families), art-therapy, non-pharmacological methods of prevention, an Alzheimer’s café, information campaigns for prevention of dementia, awareness-raising and lobbying for improved services, accessible treatment and other services and policies. Training for the staff in residential homes for people with dementia is also provided. The twinning of the Foundation with an organisation in another country facilitated the transfer of expertise in the fight against exclusion experienced by people with dementia.

As well as psychological, social and legal advice to people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their families with opportunities for referral to other specialists, the Foundation supports people directly involved with the care of the person with Alzheimer’s through individual counselling to deal with stress and depression.

Website: http://www.alzheimerbulgaria.org/