The Association of Relatives of Alzheimer's Sufferers in Benalmádena (AFAB) is still seeking financing to expand its present facilities in Avenida Ciudad de Melilla, and build a centre on a site in Myramar that the council set aside for their use in 2010.
The association's current headquarters are 320 square metres in size, but demand for their services is so high that it has become too small and there is even a waiting list.
Six months ago, the council exempted the association from the payment of the annual 14,000-euro fee, but even so donations from members and well-wishers as well as fundraising activities, are still not enough to meet the cost of the project, the plans for which have already been drawn up and approved.
This week AFAB held an open day, which was attended by the mayor, Víctor Navas, PP candidate Juan Antonio Lara and other members of the council team. Numerous local residents also came to see the facilities to find out more about its work to stimulate the memory of the more than 60 patients who attend every day.
"The association does excellent work to alleviate the effects of Alzheimer's at its day centre and help provide a better quality of life for sufferers and support for their families," said Navas. The president of AFAB Mari Cruz Azuaga, stressed how important it is for "everyone to get involved, and contribute what they can so the new centre can be built soon".
The facilities of AFAB, which has been providing this service since 1996, are divided according to different stages of the illness, because "the centre is very important for Alzheimer's patients and each stage of the illness has its own specific needs", said sources at the association, which pays around 2,000 euros a month to rent its present premises.
The association provides psychological care for patients and their families as well as legal advice, transport, workshops on early detection of the illness and activities to avoid cognitive deterioration in elderly people, but one of its most important services is the creation of a respite unit so families can have a break from the stress of daily care.
"It is a very cruel illness, for the patients in the early stages when they realise what is starting to happen to them, and for their families and social environment," said Azuaga.
AFAB is staffed by volunteers, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and auxiliaries.
Every day they hold classes of physical and mental exercises, workshops, therapies, self-help groups and psychological assistance for patients and their relatives.