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Pope Francis

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Vatican prepares conference on how to help the sick, especially people with Alzheimers

2013-11-19

Despite being sick or elderly, everyone's dignity must be respected. This was the message of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, as it gets ready for its 28th International Conference at the Vatican. 

ARCH. ZYGMUNT ZIMOWSKI
President, Council for Health Care Workers
"Dignity is not lost when one is weak. As Christians we don't just take physical strength into account, but also the strength of our spirit.” 

Special attention will focus on how to help those who suffer from dementia, especially Alzheimers.  Worldwide, it's estimated that about 35 million people suffer from this disease. By the year 2030, the cases could exceed 65 million. So, ways in which the Church can help both patients and their families will be discussed.

GABRIELLA SALVINI PORRO
Federazione Alzheimer (Italy)
"Back when my mom was sick, we didn't understand what was happening to her. She couldn't read, she was paranoid accusing people of stealing things from her and she had trouble finding things. It was emotionally draining. Finally, a doctor eventually told us that it was probably Alzheimers.”

The meeting will take place from November 21st to the 23rd.  Roughly 700 experts from more than 57 countries are expected to take part, including researchers, doctors, ecclesial and health care workers. Before closing, Pope Francis, who has often highlighted the need to respect and embrace the elderly, will hold an audience with some of the participants at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. 


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