Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders Heraklion Prefecture


10 Years of Volunteering


Chariklia Tziraki, MD, PhD, Research Initiatives
(email: tziraki@gmail.com)


“Allilengii” is a legal nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by concerned citizens with relatives suffering with dementia. During the past 10 years, the organization has grown in membership to include not only concerned citizens but also health care professionals from all fields relating to ACTIVE and HEALTHY AGEING.

The organization serves the city of Heraklion [population almost 200000 people] and the Prefecture of Heraklion [almost 350000 people].
The primary focus of the organization has been shaped by the field experience and the needs of the urban and rural population that it serves, and includes:

  • The promotion of Active and Healthy Ageing as a major path to prevention of cognitive decline and dementia  as well as maintenance of  quality of life
  • Awareness and screening for early signs of dementia
  • Public education to eliminate stigma associated with cognitive decline
  • Research and social innovation for supporting active healthy brain with ageing in cooperation with University of Crete, Heraklion University Hospital, Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete and the Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), as well as Elderly Homes/Houses

Allilengii is also actively pursuing health policy at the local and national level for the early detection of cognitive decline and support of persons with dementia and their families.

Allilengii operates:

  • 7 community based activities for persons with dementia and their care givers in the city of Heraklion.
  • A mobile team for reaching rural areas in the prefecture of Heraklion. A series of public awareness and educational  program on a monthly basis at  Health Centers, Counseling Centers, Elderly Homes/Houses, churches Parishes, local  radio and television programs
  • Intergenerational educational program approved by the Ministry of Education in Primary and Secondary Schools and Schools 2nd Chance.
  • Programs for persons with early stage dementia and mild cognitive impairment  and their caregivers
  • Pan Cretan training seminars for health professionals,
  • Educational programs for the public utilizing musical and creative arts events to promote awareness of prevention, and early screening of physical & cognitive decline

Allilengii is a member of the Greek Federation of International Association of  Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

Allilengii works closely with the University of Crete Medical School and is honored to include in the Scientific Committee faculty members of the University of Crete as listed below.

Research Activities

  • Allilengii participates in the EU LLP supported project for research, early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as –INTERREG supported research program of MRI based approach to evaluation and screening of Persons with dementia.
  • In cooperation with the University of Crete Medical School and the University of Cyprus Department of Psychology has developed educational training programs for health professional for the diagnosis of early dementia in the region.
  • Training of medical students in collaboration with the Department of  Social and Family Medicine of the University of Crete Medical School, on  ‘Compassion in clinical practice “
  • Allilengii also serves as a place for practicum for over 100 medical students .

Regional Day Care Center

Recently, the 7th Health District of Crete granted a public building for the development of a Center of Excellence for research and clinical evaluation of older persons in the prefecture of Heraklion. This center will be run in collaboration with specialists from the Heraklion University Hospital providing free screening for geriatric syndromes such as physical and cognitive frailty and applying non pharmacological interventions for maintaining health brain and body, for all Heraklion prefecture citizens.

Community Based programs

In a Monday to Friday program, volunteers from a multi-disciplinary health professional team and community volunteers offer a variety of  free neighbor based activities, listed below

  • On Monday 18:00-20:00 (the Christian Association building) neuropsychological assessment is carried out by specialists. If a diagnosis of cognitive impairment is confirmed, the patient is enrolled in a special program. A scheduled appointment is required for the neuropsychological assessment.
  • On Tuesday 17:00-20:00 (city-center) mental empowerment programs is held. In parallel caregivers and families are given useful information, education and psychological support.
  • On Wednesday 17:00-20:00 (Kaminia older people home/house) patient mental empowerment and speech and language therapy is applied as well as care givers psychological support.
  • On Thursday 17:00-20:00 (4th Municipal District Building): mental empowerment, attention exercises, speech and language therapy is curried out. Debate teams care givers psychological support is conducted.
  • On Thursday 09:00-14:00 (Geriatric Clinic at the Heraklion University Hospital) for older individuals comprehensive geriatric assessment in order to promote active and healthy ageing, to maintain physical and cognitive performance and to reduce care givers’ burden .
  • On Friday 17:00-20:00 («Alzheimer Cafe” in Poros neighborhood center) is held intervention to ambulatory individuals with moderate/advanced dementia who can no longer attend the mental empowerment programs. The goal is to provide a short time respite care for patients. A multidisciplinary team including gerontologist, psychologist, dietitian-nutritionist, dentist, gymnast, music therapists, the Red Cross nurses and other volunteers offer a variety of activities.

The Governing Board

Ioanna Kortsidaki, President

Symeon Panagiotakis, MD, PhD, Vice President

Eva Sakellariou, Gen. Secretary

Eleni Kastrinaki, Cashier

Yannis Theodorakis, member

Kaiti Sbokou, member

Mary Detoraki, member

Chariklia Tziraki, MD, PhD, Research Initiatives (email: tziraki@gmail.com)

The Scientific Committee

Ameridou Ioanna,  Neurologist MD, PhD

Androulaki Zacharenia, Professor, TEI of Crete Nursing Department

Grinakis Evangelos, MD Psychiatrist

Zaganas John, MD Neurologist, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Crete

Zacharenakis Konstantinos Sp. Pan / MR Counseling and music therapist

Iatraki Eliza, Psychologist / Social Worker, MPH University of Crete

Perysinaki Garyfalia, MD, PhD Nephrologist

Simos Panagiotis, Professor of Neuropsychology, University of Crete


Tel. Contact 2810226308 mobile 6974192595

e-mail: alzheimer.heraklion@gmail.com,

website: www.alzheimerheraklion.gr

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