Heybeliada’s Historic Sanatorium Building Should Be An Alzheimer’s Clinic – OpEd


While attending a fast German course at Munich Volksschule in 2015, there was a children’s nursery on one side of the school and an elderly care and Alzheimer’s dementia clinic on the other. We used the same cafeteria as the elderly. Relatives of the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease used to visit them, but these elderly individuals had no response or speaking ability. My late mother lost her ability to speak in her final years due to a stroke. It was a difficult time for her.

One of the prerequisites of being a modern society is evident in the care, compassion, and love shown to the elderly. Although I assume there were no ill intentions, I do not think it is right to share images, videos, or humorous/emotional moments of elderly people experiencing advanced stages of diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia on social media. I believe this is a form of exploiting the elderly.

There is no elderly dementia Alzheimer’s clinic on the Prince islands. The Heybeliada Sanatorium was closed due to tuberculosis, a treatable disease, but it is not appropriate for it to be handed over to the Religious Affairs Directorate. There are already enough places of worship on the islands. It would be more suitable for this venue to be used as a nursing home for the elderly.

As local elections approach, it is important for political parties to focus on this issue, develop projects for Heybeliada Sanatorium to become a nursing home, and include it in their election programs. Simply shaking hands with elderly people they encounter on the streets and exchanging pleasantries before the elections is not enough.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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