by Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government will spend 4.8 million euros on converting the former Military Hospital in Calle Olmos into a centre for Alzheimer's sufferers.

It will have 20 places for day visitors and 27 residential beds. The part of the hospital with access in Calle San Miguel will be converted into a home for people who require constant attention.

The government chose yesterday, International Alzheimers Day, to announce its plans for the building, which it purchased recently from the central defence ministry for 7.2 million euros.

Fifteen percent of the places will be reserved for retired members of the Armed Forces.
Rosa Estarás, the deputy leader of the Balearic government, said that the Alzheimer's centre would be completely finished early in 2007, although the non-residential areas would be functioning much earlier.

The other part of the residence, for people who need constant attention, will be ready to welcome patients during 2006.
Estarás was accompanied at the presentation by ministers Rosa Puig, Aina Castillo, Francesc Fiol and Lluis Ramis de Ayreflor, and head of the Council of Majorca's social services institute Antoni Serra, city councillor Margarita Ferrando and representatives of the Armed Forces, unions and associations of patients' families.

Estarás said that one in four Spanish families has a member with Alzheimers. She said that in addition to building specialised centres, the government will also help sufferers with a special bracelet by which they can be located if they go missing. She added that 100'000 euros will be spent on this scheme.

The Alzheimer's centre will be in the part of the Military Hospital on the corner of Calle Olmos-Calle San Miguel.
The ground floor will have the offices for the two centres. The day centre with a capacity for 20 persons, a dining room, and physiotherapy room will be on the mezzanine floor.

The first and second floor will have 19 single rooms and four double rooms for residents, and the third floor, the dining room for patients and an occupational therapy room.

The building with the façade on Calle San Miguel, for people who need constant care, will have a hall and common rooms on the ground floor. The first floor will have a dining room and physiotherapy room. The other floors will have 32 double and four single rooms.