Alzheimer’s is one of the worst diseases that can affect a person, because one loses everything that is essentially “them”.
This morning at a media briefing for the Central Bank of Barbados’ cents drive at the bank’s Church Village, Bridgetown complex, President of the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association, Pamelia Brereton, made a heartfelt appeal for people to come forward and deliver their cents.
This year, in collaboration with the Rotary Club, the CBB has established a worthy cause of collecting 1 cents to raise five million cents or $50,000 to help the Alzheimer’s Association establish a day care centre for people afflicted by the disease.
On September 21 there will be National Collection Day, which will coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day and both private and public sector entities have come on board to partake in the cause.
“For quite some time we have been a struggling organisation trying to educate Barbados on what Alzheimer’s is all about,” Brereton said. “Within the last year or so a number of persons have been coming forward to let us know who is out there that has Alzheimer’s disease and believe me or not, there are so many people out there with the disease that we do need to get something in place for them to go where they can get the proper kind of care that is necessary.
“At the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association, we are looking at a day care centre where you can go, drop the person off, go do your shopping, go get your hair done, go get your nails done and all those wonderful things that you should do for yourself because caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is not the easiest job in the world. Everyone is doing everything for you and you have no say in what you do for yourself.”
While she added they had not yet selected a location for the centre to be housed, she noted they were searching for the “ideal place … where the sufferers can be comfortable” as one of the main issue with patients was that they tended to “walk away” so they did not want the building to be situated too close to the road. It costs five cents to make each one cent coin, so the CBB is encouraging Barbadians to make sense of their cents by supporting the cause.
Deputy Director of Currency at the Central Bank, Octavia Gibson, said back in May the bank determined they needed to collect the one cents that were out there in the public. Every year, she said, the bank ordered between 15 and 20 million one cents and less than one third remained in circulation. Thus the bank would have to spend more money to manufacture more cents.
As a result, they started an internal drive, then it was determined that to ensure the public came on board more readily they would contribute to a charity. The cent drive was officially launched on July 26 and now, with more than 70 official yellow collection bins across Barbados, so far more than $5,000 has been collected. Churches have also joined and collections would occur at specified locations in September. In addition, President of the Rotary Club South, Sonya Alleyne, said that while the National Collection Day was scheduled for September 21 collections would continue until the end of the year. (KC)