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Cuba plans to open nursing homes for people with Alzheimer’s

Havana, Dec 15 (EFE).- Cuba, a country affected by an aging population, is planning to open nursing homes for people with Alzheimer’s starting in 2015, according to officials in the Public Health Ministry, or MINSAP, as cited by local media.

One in every 10 Cubans 65 or older develops some kind of dementia, according to a study conducted on the impact of dementia in older adults between 2002 and 2012 by MINSAP experts.

The head of the MINSAP national Elderly, Social Assistance and Mental Health program, Alberto Fernandez Seco, said that the nursing homes will each have nurses specialized in caring for people with mental problems and social welfare assistants to help the nurses with their daily activities.

The government has allocated 66 million pesos ($2.6 million) to repair and maintain the nursing homes, officials said.

The first of the new institutions for people suffering from Alzheimer’s is already operating on an experimental basis in Havana, according to the National Information Agency.

Recent research found that the disease will affect some 270,000 Cubans by 2030.

According to the latest national census, performed in 2012, 18.3 percent of Cubans are over age 60 and experts forecast that by 2035 people above that age will number some 3.6 million, a third of the island’s current population of 11.1 million.