Saturday, September 18, 2021

Vaccinations alarmingly lopsided

Portugal is reckoned to be number one or two of the most fully vaccinated nations in the world, but there are serious concerns of a possible expansion of COVID-19 if vaccinations continue to lag so far behind in Africa.

About 80% of Portugal’s total population of just over 10 million have been fully vaccinated, according to the national health authority, DGS.  

Almost all adults over 65 and half of young people aged between 12 and 17 have now been fully vaccinated.

The head of Portugal’s vaccination task force, Vice-Admiral Henrique de Gouveia e Melo, has been widely praised for setting up a speedy campaign that has allowed Portugal to lift most of its coronavirus restrictions.

He said during a recent visit to a vaccination centre near Lisbon: “I'm not concerned if we are number 1, 2 or 3 (in the world). What I want is to control the virus - to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible so the virus doesn't have room for manoeuvre.”

The Reuters news agency went on to quote Gouveia e Melo as saying that Portugal started to inoculate at the same pace as other European Union nations, but as anti-vaccination movements grew elsewhere, Portugal speeded up the rollout and only about 3% of the population consider themselves vaccine "deniers".

 Gouveia e Melo warned, however, that the battle against COVID-19 was not over until all countries, rich and poor, can properly access vaccines.

"We are over-vaccinating in richer countries and then there is zero vaccination in poorer countries," he said. "I can't agree with that - not only due to ethics and morals, but because it's not the best strategy and rational attitude."

It is estimated that in Africa less than 3.5% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Clearly this is far short of an official target of 60%, said John Nkengasong, director of Africa's Centers for Disease Control. 

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at the same briefing last week that the African continent was being "left behind by the rest of the world" and that this would allow the coronavirus to keep circulating.

Globally, the biggest international vaccination programme in history has administered more than 5.85 billion does across 184 countries, according to the data being regularly collected by Bloomberg.

The latest rate was more than 31 million doses administered per day. That means that enough doses have been given to vaccinate more than 36% of the world’s population – but the distribution has been lopsided. 

As of September 16, around 64% of the United States population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, but the US continues to lead the world in total COVID infections (41.5 million) and deaths (665,000). Around 1,900 deaths are being reported most days.

Some scientists have warned that COVID-19 may greatly accelerate across Africa developing particularly virulent and transmissible variants that could spread to high-income countries such as the US and those in the European Union.

South African scientists have already identified and are studying a variant currently referred to as C1.2. There are special concerns about the number of mutations it contains and the speed at which the mutations have occurred.

South Africa’s national Institute for Communicable Diseases has said that since being identified in two South African provinces in May this year, C1.2 has been found in other provinces as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Switzerland and Portugal.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Climate crisis worse than ever


So far it’s been a savage summer with deadly wildfires, storms and flash floods around the world.

Hundreds of wildfires in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been another reminder, as if one were needed, that the climate is changing.

Forest fires accurately described as “unprecedented” have had socio-economic consequences in southern Europe as yet not fully evaluated.

The sub-tropical Mediterranean region has been experiencing droughts, less cloud cover and more sun exposure that fuel high-risk conditions despite the many emergency precautions in place.

The wildfires in Siberia, the most northerly part of Russia and in winter the coldest inhabited part of the planet, are said to have been more extensive than all the world’s other wildfires combined. An area in northern Siberia greater than that of the whole of Portugal has been ravaged by wildfires in recent weeks, sending clouds of smoke over the North Pole.

President Vladimir Putin called the devastation “absolutely unprecedented” and pledged a vast sun of money to protect forests, according to the Agence France Presse.   

The so-called “Dixie Fire” in northern California started in mid-July and by August 6th had become the largest single wildfire in the state’s history, destroying homes and the environment across 3,000 square kilometres. Only just over half of the fire had been contained by the beginning of September.    

A million Americans were left without power and no way of knowing when it could be restored after Hurricane Ida ripped through the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. Families were left without electric lighting, air-conditioning or refrigeration because of the devastation caused by winds blowing at up to 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph).

Ida continued as a severe storm 1,000 miles eastwards to New York,  New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut before dumping record-breaking deluges of rain and flash flooding that swamped subway stations and killed or trapped many people in cars and home basements. New York City was paralysed.

“Climate change is here,” said President Joe Biden in an address to the nation.  “This destruction is everywhere. It’s a matter of life and death - and we’re all in this together.”

Previous records in Canada were shattered when the temperature in the town of Lytton in British Columbia reached 49.6 degree Celsius, setting off a wildfire that a few days later almost wiped out the entire town.

Flash floods have caused chaos in many other places this summer, including parts of China, Germany and even London. A year’s worth of rain recently fell in China in three days. Downpours in a summer of extreme weather have killed hundreds of people across China’s central region. The German government has approved a €30 billion relief fund to help those severely impacted when the most torrential rains in a hundred years caused rivers to burst their banks and sweep away homes and other buildings. Torrential rain in London turned streets into rivers and amid the travel chaos some bus passengers had to be rescued by raft.

That’s probably not the end of the story this summer as September continues to be a hot month even here in Portugal -  and the summer season has yet to begin in the southern hemisphere. On the first day of summer in December last year, the city of Perth in Western Australia recorded a temperature of 6.6 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest morning in 124 years. In the first days of January last year, however, wildfires brought tragedy to communities in south-eastern Australia. With much of New South Wales and Victoria ablaze, smoke shrouded the nation’s capital, Canberra, and spread out across the ocean, leaving about 3,000 homes destroyed and a billion animals affected.

All this is becoming the new norm and it will have to be fully addressed in the cool of November when world leaders gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations Cop 26 climate change summit.

The UK Met Office has reported with unintended irony that the city of Glasgow has just experienced its hottest summer since records began in 1884.   



Monday, August 16, 2021

Alagoas Brancas: the fight rages on over an Algarve wetland site


Uncertainty as to when an appeal court in Lisbon will make a decision on an Algarve municipal council’s refusal to order a developer to make an environmental impact study is exacerbating frustrations among campaigners determined to save the wetland site known as Alagoas Brancas.

 The campaigners are asking supporters for donations to help them carry on their fight to give permanent protection to this small freshwater site, which is particularly rich in birdlife.

Mayor Luís Encarnação and the municipal council of Lagoa believe that the economic benefits of a project to commercial develop the site would outweigh the environmental consequences of doing so. In support of that argument, they are warning of the high cost to the municipality if they have to indemnify the developer for cancellation of the project.

 The campaigners have been emphasaising that the mayor and council are not saying what alternative sites they have offered the developer to mitigate any potential penalties. They are not saying what they have done to secure external funds to pay such penalties, although it is probable that there are funds available in Portugal or in the EU for just such situations. Another thing they are silent about is that they had an opportunity in 2019 to cancel this project without incurring any penalties at all, and why they did not take this opportunity.

Luís Encarnação thinks it financially wise to allow the developer to turn the wetland into an already planned and approved commercial area, thus creating a dispute that has been going on for four and a half years.

 The 11-hectare (27-acre) site is right on the edge of the small city of Lagoa, which took its name from a much larger lagoon that existed for thousands of years before it was adapted for agriculture and then urbanisation. The desire to destroy what remains of the wetland is interpreted by some as a local example of humanity’s global war on nature.

 A long stretch of beautiful coastline within the Lagoa municipality, as well as two distinctive Jurassic sites further west at Praia da Luz, are also threatened with highly controversial developments. This is in defiance of Portuguese declarations decades ago that the Algarve would never allow the sort of urban expansion that occurred along Spain’s Costa del Sol.  But that’s another story.

 The Lisbon court of appeal will rule on whether the council must demand an environmental impact study before any development project is undertaken. A decision is not expected anytime soon.


Anabeta Blofeld (pictured above) and several other Portuguese residents, plus members of the expatriate community who make up 21% of the local population, began the ‘Save Alagoas Brancas’ campaign in January 2017. They were joined by environmental agencies that have been cooperating ever since. The extremely active Salvar as Alagoas de Lagoa - Save the Alagoas of Lagoa Facebook group have now nearly 3,000 members and more than 6,500 petition signatures.

 It all started when local residents saw truckloads of building waste being dumped into the wetland. They requested clarification from the local council. It transpired that the site had been approved for commercial purposes as far back as 2009. Apparently the developer had been granted a licence by the local council to clear the area, but not fill it in. The council halted the work.

  “This was an early signal of how the  Lagoa council would create loopholes in rules which would allow the developer to destroy the wetland and then argue that they were unaware of what was going on even though the site is a stone’s throw from the council offices,” says Anabela Blofeld.

 “We would later see the council using every means at their disposal to facilitate the destruction of such an important site and make opposition of the developer’s plans difficult.”


Dr Manfred Temme, a German biologist and ornithologist, (pictured above) began studying and photographing the wetland’s prolific birdlife during annual autumn to spring visits as far back as 2008. He has recorded the presence of 88 species ranging from wildfowl, waders and even sea birds, to raptors and song birds. Observations by other ornithologists have raised the number of species to more than 120.

 “Glossy Ibises have increased tremendously over the past ten years, sometimes with as many as 100 to 900 of this spectacular, long-legged wader feeding by day or roosting at night,” says Dr Temme.

 His records show that many of the 50 Spoonbills present in February and March 2917 had been ring combinations from the Netherlands and sometimes Spain.  Some Black-tailed Godwits resting during migration have been carrying ring combinations from the Netherlands and Scandinavia.  Ringing information is regularly exchanged between scientific institutions.  

 Up to 2,700 Cattle Egret have been recorded sleeping on the wetland and rare Great White Egrets have been spotted. The most distinguished birds of prey recorded have been Marsh Harriers, Booted Eagles and once a Black-winged Kite and an Osprey.

 “The breeding presence of very rare Purple Swamphens (pictured below) is reason alone for protecting Alagoas Brancas, says Dr Temme. “ Proper management, flooding the area a bit with water in summer, could improve the habitat further.”


The Save Alagoas campaigners can rely on the firm support of Almargem, a well-known regional non-profit organisation devoted to studying and safe-guarding historical, cultural and natural sites in the Algarve, as well as the newly form Association Cidade da Participação - Associação Cívica based in Portimão, which promotes  active citizenship in the protection of cultural heritage identity, natural or built. The local campaigners also have the cooperation of the Portuguese ornithological association, SPEA. Political backing has come from  the Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda) and the People-Animals-Nature (PAN)  parties at local level and in the National Assembly, but the other main political parties have remained largely silent.

 “Over the last four years we have had several meetings with Lagoa council officials. We also wrote to the president of the republic, the prime minister, the ministry of the environment,, and made complaints to the government watchdog, IGAMOT,” says Anabela Blofeld. “Our negotiations with the council are a history of broken promises and deliberate delays, obfuscation and obstruction by officials from the top down.”

 While the mayor of Lagoa argues that the developer has a legal right to go ahead with his plans, the campaigners suggest that he seems to be putting that right above the concerns of many of the citizens he represents. The city council has always had the power to revoke the development permit and declare Alagoas Brancas a local protected area, according to the environmentalists, but officials have continually found excuses not to do this, they say.

  The mayor is warning of dire financial consequences of protecting the site. However, he has refused to answer questions about what he has done to seek alternative funding to cover any potential penalties. In fact there was a time in 2019 when the council could have revoked the permit without any financial penalties at all, but it chose not to do so, argues Anabela Blofeld.

 In June 2019, Almargem released a detailed scientific report on Alagoas Brancas and two other wetlands in the Algarve at risk of development. They did so with the collaboration of highly qualified technicians and experts from the University of the Algarve and SPEA. The study reveals that Alagoas Brancas, has a high wealth of wildlife and that the construction on that site would represent a risk of collapse in case of excess load, a risk of contamination of aquifers and a high probability of flooding throughout the urban area if the wetland was wiped out.

 Campaigners obtained a court order in the Algarve in May this year to temporarily block any development work. The Lagoa council was advised to order an environmental impact study, which it has refused to do, so the matter has gone to Lisbon.

 Expecting that the Lagoa mayor and the council will not give up easily, the Salvar as Alagoas de Lagoa  group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help with all the legal and other costs. It is appealing to the public for even small donations as the fight goes on.


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Vaccinations up, infections down

After a slow start, Portugal is now ahead of schedule in vaccinating its citizens against COVID-19.

"The goal of having 70% of the population of mainland Portugal vaccinated with at least one dose was reached today, before the initially planned date,” the Ministry of Health announced on Friday.

“About 12.1 million vaccines have been administered in mainland Portugal, which allowed more than 6.9 million people to be vaccinated with at least one dose, of which around 6.2 million already have the two doses," the Ministry added.

Portugal’s total population is about 10.2 million. With 81,500 vaccinations administered each day last week, it will take just under a month to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

Meanwhile, COVID infections are decreasing. The number of new infections on average each day is now said to be 2,331. That’s 18% of the peak at the end of January this year.

Since the pandemic began, a total of 982,364 infections and 17,440 COVID-related deaths have been recorded in this country.

The Reuters news agency points out that “there is no one perfect statistic to compare the outbreaks different countries have experienced during the pandemic.”

Looking at a variety of statistics you get a more complete view of the virus toll on each country, explains Reuters:

The chart in this website show several different statistics, each with its own strength and weakness that mark the various ways each country’s outbreak compares in its region and the world.

With Portugal’s vaccination rollout speeding up, the government recently introduced a three-stage plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions, including scrapping a night-time curfew and the lifting of restrictions on the opening hours of restaurants and shops.

 Bars and clubs are staying open late into the night for the first time since March last year. But, as the BBC put it, “customers can only enjoy the revelry sitting down - dancing will be allowed in October if the vaccination campaign continues successfully.”

The Portuguese authorities still recommend working remotely, but this is no longer compulsory.

With the lessening of infections and restrictions have come an increase in visitors from abroad, including what some in the tourist trade describe as “an avalanche” at long last of holidaymakers from the United Kingdom.

There are now many German, French, Dutch and other European summer visitors, though it has all come far later than hoped for early in the year.

The last really good year for tourism in Portugal was 2019.  About 1.2 million visitors came from the UK alone. As the pandemic worsened, that figure was slashed in 2020 to just over 180 thousand.

This year the Algarve has experienced an increase of 40% in the national market, compared to July 2019, offset by a drop of 76% in the foreign market, according to AHETA, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises if the Algarve.

Since the beginning of the year, says AHETA, occupancy per room recorded an average decrease of 68.9 percent and sales volume a 68.6 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2019.

Tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product. Tourism is also a key source of employment.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Climate predictions for Portugal

The recent rural wildfire that encroached on the municipality of Portimão in the Algarve was yet another reminder that scientists consider Portugal to be one of the most vulnerable  countries in Europe to climate change.

The latest blaze came almost on the third anniversary of the inferno that destroyed so much across the Monchique hills in 2018.

It is clear that the effects of climate change are already being increasingly experienced in this country and they are predicted to get far worse as world leaders disagree and delay on the urgent action needed against global warming.

The heat waves, droughts and sea level rises that have already caused great concern in various parts of Portugal are certain to become much more frequent, intense, uncontrollable and harmful to human activities and ecosystems throughout the mainland, and even in the autonomous island territories of Madeira and the Azores.

Global temperatures have so far risen by what seems like an inconsequential one degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. Further temperature rises due mainly to greenhouse gas emissions caused by the human use of fossil fuels could intensify and elongate heat waves, drastically reduce precipitation and create greater disastrous sea level rises.

Temperatures will rise through all seasons, especially summer when the heat in some places may be become unbearable.

More extreme heat waves will increase the number and severity of wildfires that have been more prevalent in Portugal than any other European country in recent years.

The tourist industry that is so crucial to the Portuguese economy has been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic and could again see a massive and perhaps permanent drop in business because of searing summers.   

Droughts will proliferate in magnitude, cutting supplies of water to ordinary urban households as well as for agricultural irrigation.

The reduction in crop productivity because of less irrigation on dry land will mean that even olive trees will be at risk and the wine industry may struggle to survive.

 If the sea levels continue to rise as expected, whole coastal communities will be submerged and wiped out.

None of this seems to worry many of the older generations who may not be around to cope with unprecedented crises in infrastructure, food, health and economic systems. But for future generations so much needs to be urgently done by world leaders at the COP-26 summit in Scotland in November.

It must be emphasised that the reality of global warming is not in doubt: it is based on specialist international scientific research and solid evidence.

Some pertinent statics:

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is regarded as a highly reliable source of information, consists of more than 1,300 scientists in the United States and many other countries.

Portugal has had to deal with 35% of the Mediterranean region’s forest fires and 39% of the land destroyed by them in recent decades, much more than any other southern European country.

In Lisbon the average summer temperatures may rise from 28 to 34 degrees, with the frequency of extremely hot days increasing from the current rate of five days to about 50 days a year.

That mere 1.0 degree Celsius post-industrial rise is causing increasingly frequent and violent weather conditions. The plan was to limit the rise this century to two degrees, but the 2016 Paris Agreement lowered the aim to 1.5C. That half a degree could make all the difference to the continuance of safe human existence.

The yearly precipitation rates are forecast to decrease this century by between 15% in the north and 30% in the south of the country. The decrease will be least in winter. In spring and autumn rainfall is likely to lessen by about 20% in the north and 40% in the south. Summer rainfall is expected to be down by more than 50% over most of the mainland. In Madeira, about 30% less annual rainfall than during the 1960–1990 period is anticipated for the decades ahead. No substantial change in rainfall is forecast for the Azores.

Scientific projects point to an average sea rise from 0.25 to 2 metres by the end of this century. The most affected of the nine main islands in the Azores will be São Miguel where more than 57% of the population are expected to be at risk.t

The Algarve is particularly vulnerable too, with sea levels up by 20cm-30cm by 2050 and by anywhere between 50 and 100cm by 2100.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

New plan to fight climate change

Portugal and all the other member states of the European Union have just been presented with an ambitious new climate change plan formulated by the EU Commission that hopes to influence other major countries in the lead up and during the crucial Cop-26 climate summit conference in Glasgow this November.

The plan comprises a dozen detailed draft proposals that seek to drastically cut the use of fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 55% between now and 2030. It wants to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

To achieve this, the plan is to start taxing high-carbon aviation and shipping fuel, as well as imposing “border tariffs” on imported carbon- emitting materials such as cement, steel and aluminium.

 The intention is also to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within the next 14 years.

Agreement on all this is not going to happen in a hurry. The 27 EU governments and the EU parliament are expected to take months if not a couple of years to reach agreement and ratify a joint plan.

 Opposition has already started rolling in because the proposals would mean rises in the costs of domestic heating, transportation and manufacturing. Every EU citizen is likely to experience extra expense of some kind.

“We’re going to ask a lot of our citizens. We’re going to ask a lot of our industries, but we do it for good cause,” said Frans Timmermanns, the EU’s climate policy chief. “We do it to give humanity a fighting chance.” 

The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany, Ottmar Edenholmer, said: “Weather extremes around the world clearly illustrate that strong action is key now if we want to limits costs and risks and secure a safe future for all.”

Release of the proposals coincided with temperatures in California soaring to the highest ever recorded on the planet; viscous heat waves were sweltering Russia and Canada; typhoons were sweeping through the tropics; incredible rainfall and flooding were devastating families and homes in Germany and its western neighbours.

Scientists put it all down to climate change.

Yet the EU Commission’s plan came under immediate attack by industrialists both within the EU and abroad because of the inevitable cost rises the proposals would cause.

Environmental campaigners on the other hand complained about the contents of the plan being too weak.

Even on such a fundamental issue as climate change and the future of humanity, many strong-minded individuals, communities and governments are very much out of step with each other. There is no clear global unanimity in sight.

The EU Commission plan may not be perfect, but it’s the best set out so far. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A less talked about pandemic

The lives of about 50 million people worldwide have been shattered without any hope of recovery by Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. The number is increasing by about 10 million a year, according to the World Health Organisation.

In Portugal, around 200,000 people - more than twice as many women as men - have dementia. That’s the latest round figure from the non-profit, non-governmental organisation Alzheimer Europe.

At least as many people giving close care to family or friends with dementia have been heavily impacted by the disease, but in a very different way.

Dementia is a cruel syndrome or group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning that usually develops slowly over years and sometimes without clear cause.

In general, carers only notice the symptoms some time after they break out as memory loss, attention deficits or other cognitive impairments are assumed to be part of the normal ageing process, says Dr Margarida Ferreira, a psychologist with the Portugal Alzheimer association.

“We might be a bit more forgetful as we grow older, but normally, after a while or with the help of a cue, we are still able to recall. So the tendency among close family and friends is usually to ignore early symptoms and only later, when something significant or dangerous happens, do they think that all might not be okay.” 

Dr Ferreira points out that close care-givers can be burdened with “physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.”

 In some cases, she says, “it is not only that  you are constantly supervising the person with dementia and helping them in their needs without any training or someone to share the care, but also that role inversion, as with a son taking care of a parent or a husband of a wife. This can add to the loss of someone you once knew differently.”

Care-giving can exhaust a carer’s ability to remain calm and be patient especially, for example, after repeatedly listening to the same talk over and over again. 

“This is generally because carers don’t have the time or support for their own personal needs, which includes comprehension and acceptance of the disease as well as managing their own feelings and expectations,” says Dr Ferreira. 

 “This lack of self-care and support, along with other factors, can in some cases lead to physical and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

Portimão and Lagoa host the two local offices of the Portuguese national Alzheimer organization in the Algarve. This is where Dr Ferreira provides professional advice upon appointment to those in need, according to each specific situation.

“In some cases the main concern is the medication, in others personal care or specific behaviours,” she says.

Dr Ferreira (pictured above) suggests that caring family and friends experiencing fatigue should take advantage of the information available in English as well as Portuguese on the Alzheimer Portugal website:.

Here we quote directly from part of the website….

10 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Caregiver

Do you feel overwhelmed by caring for another person to the point of neglecting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being? If you don't take the time to take care of yourself and your needs you could be putting your life and health at risk.

Identify Changes as soon as Possible

Symptoms of dementia develop gradually. Whenever you notice significant changes in the person's memory, mood or behaviour, talk to your doctor. Don't delay. Some symptoms can be controlled.

Discover the Resources Available in the Community

Find out about the support, services and equipment available. Day centres and home support are some of the answers that can help you in providing care and in carrying out day-to-day tasks. 

Be Informed

As the disease progresses, it may be necessary to acquire specific knowledge and skills to face the challenges that arise. Try to participate in workshops and other training actions, with specific and diversified content, which can help you understand and better deal with the changes in behaviour and personality that accompany the disease. 

Seek Help

Trying to do everything yourself can lead to exhaustion. Seek support from family, friends and available resources in the community. Help lines and support groups are some of the resources that can help you find comfort and safety. If stress becomes disabling, seek professional help.

Take Care of Yourself

Pay attention to your diet, exercise and rest as much as possible.Watching your health will make you a better caregiver.

Control Your Stress Level

 Stress can lead to physical disturbances (blurred vision, gastrointestinal disturbances, high blood pressure) and behavioural changes (irritability, lack of concentration, changes in appetite). Be aware of your symptoms. Use relaxation techniques that make you feel better and talk to your doctor.

Accept the Evolution of the Disease 

The needs of People with Dementia change over time and with the evolution of the disease. Demands may exceed your responsiveness. Knowing the resources of the community - day centres, home support services and homes - can facilitate the decision to share the provision of care with others.

Make Decisions of a Legal and /  or Financial Nature

Plan ahead in advance. Know your rights and those of the Person with Dementia, as well as the legal procedures to be followed after diagnosis and during the course of the illness. Involve, whenever possible, the person with dementia and the closest family members.

Value Yourself and don't Blame Yourself

Remember that your care makes a difference and that you are doing the best you can. Don't blame yourself for not being able to do everything yourself. Even though care may no longer be provided by you, as the disease progresses, you can continue to ensure that the person is well cared for and feels safe.

Talk to your Doctor Regularly

Make time for yourself, get regular routine checkups, and listen to what your body tells you. Watch out for exhaustion, stress, sleep disturbances and changes n n appetite and behaviour. Ignoring these symptoms can seriously affect your physical and mental health.

The Care-giver in Stress.. ..

10 Warning Signs:

 1.  Denial about the disease, its evolution and its effects on the diagnosed person.

    “I know my mom will get better.”

2.  Anger toward the person with dementia or other people, anger that there is no cure, or by the lack of understanding of others.

   “If he asks the same question again, I scream!”

3.  Social isolation, withdrawal from friends and loss of interest in activities that before he liked to do.

   “I don't feel like hanging out with anyone anymore.”

4.   Anxiety about having to face one more day about the future.

    “What will happen when he needs more care than I can give?”

 5.   Depression that affects well-being and the ability to cope with everyday challenges. 

     “I don't want to know anymore.”  

 6.   Exhaustion feeling that it seems impossible to carry out the necessary daily tasks.

      “I'm too tired for this.”

7.   Insomnia caused by an endless list of worries.

    “What if during the night he gets up and falls?”

8.   Irritability that translates into bad mood and provokes negative responses and reactions.

     " Leave me alone!”

  9.   Lack of concentration that impairs day-to-day activities

      “I've been so busy I forgot I had an appointment.”

10.   Health problems that begin to compromise physical and psychological well-being.

      “I don't remember the last time I felt good.”


To contact Alzheimer Portugal offices in Portimão and Lagoa: 
From Monday to Friday: 9.30 to 12.30

+351 965 276 690