Protesters at last Saturday's event in Arroyo de la Miel. / sur

Protesters call for solution to delayed construction of Costa del Sol Alzheimer's centre

The cornerstone for the new centre for Torremolinos and Benalmádena was laid in March 2011, but the project has never got off the ground and now furious relatives of dementia suffers are calling for a solution to the problem

TONY BRYANT y IVAN GELIBTER

Hundreds of residents from Benalmádena and Torremolinos participated in a protest on Saturday convened by relatives of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias. The aim of the protest was to find a solution to the delay in the construction of the Alzheimer's Centre of Benalmádena and Torremolinos, a project that was announced more than ten years ago.

Under the slogan Alzheimer's is progressing relentlessly. Alzheimer's Centre Now, the protest took place in Arroyo de la Miel to highlight the unsustainable situation experienced at the current headquarters of the Benalmádena Association of Relatives of Alzheimer's Patients (AFAB), which does not have sufficient facilities to cope with the growing demands of patients from both municipalities who need professional attention.

During the rally, which was held outside the Casa de Cultura, one supporter said that the objective was to “end a long decade of waiting”.

"In the last ten years, all of the doors we have approached have been shut in our faces. Benalmádena and Torremolinos urgently need a centre where therapists and assistants can offer the sick the care that will give them the quality of life that they need to be able to cope with dementia until the end of their days."

AFAB celebrated with enthusiasm the act of laying the first stone of what would be its new headquarters in March 2011. Due to financial technicalities, the construction of the building has never begun, and now furious relatives and families of those suffering with dementia are calling for the appropriate authorities to find a solution to the problem.

Just last week, the president of AFAB, Mari Cruz Azuaga, said that the organisation had requested the land for the construction of headquarters from the town hall in 2009. Since then, she claimed that the AFAB had been requesting funds for the construction of the centre, but without success.

The initial budget for the work was estimated at 1.8 million euros, although the project was modified and the cost was reduced to 1.2 million, a figure which the AFAB president believes is achievable.

“We believe that if the town halls, the provincial council and Junta de Andalucía reached an agreement, the centre could be constructed,” she said.