Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Saturday, September 6, 2008

World Alzheimer's Awareness Week 2008 Mumbai : Press Note

On the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day on 21st Sep 2008 ‘Silver Inning Foundation’

In association with ‘ARDSI (Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India) Greater

Mumbai Support Group’ is proud to announce One Week Programme from

15th Sep to 21st Sep 2008 to create awareness about Dementia and Alzheimer’s in city of

Mumbai. All over India ARDSI and its networking organisation will hold awareness


World Alzheimer's Day was launched in 1994 by ADI (Alzheimer's Disease International's). The theme for 2008 is, 'No time to lose!' with a focus this year on carers by emphasising and celebrating the contribution they make to society and giving them the recognition they deserve!

Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction (in Latin 'dementia' means irrationality),it is a brain disorder which results in a restriction of daily activities and in most cases leads in the long term to the need for care. There are many forms of dementia, the most common one being Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a silent killer of brain and lives of world’s elderly people. It is the fourth leading cause of death among the older adults in the developed world. The symptoms can broadly include difficulties with language, significant short-term memory loss, time disorientation, difficulty in making decisions, showing signs of depression and aggression and lack of initiative and motivation. Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of the aging process. It is a disease. It can strike anyone.

There are 30 million people around the world, It is estimated that there will be 4.6 million new cases of dementia every year worldwide .The number of people with dementia is projected to increase to over 100 million worldwide by 2050. Every seven seconds, somewhere in the world, there is a new case of dementia. It’s the Diseases of 21st Century.

In India is estimated that there are over 3 million elderly people suffering from various forms of dementia. Despite the vast numbers, dementia is a grossly unrecognised public health problem in our country. There is gross ignorance about this mind-crippling illness, even among people who are educated. The only way to improve the situation is by raising the awareness among the general public.

The prevalence of Dementia in India is 2 % in people who are 65-69 year old, 5 % in 75-79 year-old, 20 % + in 85-89 year-old; every third person over 90 years of age suffers from moderate or severe dementia (Bickel, Psycho 1996, 4-8). Dr.Shaji has in his research estimated National average as 2.6% of Elderly population of over 60 year suffering from Dementia. It also been said that about 50% those affected by dementia suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

A major problem in the management of dementia patients is the disintegration of the joint family system and the emergence of nuclear families, which has affected the care of the aged the most. There are very few institutions in place to take care of the elderly one of them is Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India.

Most often spouses and other family members provide the day-to-day care for people with Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease gets worse, people often need more and more care. This can be hard for caregivers and can affect their physical and mental health, family life, job and finances.

Due to lack of awareness of AD most patients/family members tend to ignore the symptoms of the disease as normal part of aging process. Clinical help is sought only after a drastic deterioration of patient’s health. Also it’s found that there is misconception about Dementia and people look it as Stigma.

Research on Alzheimer’s disease in India is still in the initial stages. Medication is expensive. Among the family members care for Alzheimer’s patients, with the best of intentions, is low priority. Professional support systems are non-existent.

Creating mass awareness about this tragic condition can help detect Alzheimer's at an early stage and create avenues for appropriate support and care to patients.

Let us salute all the family members and the caregivers of the AD-afflicted patients.

Together we can do a lot for the AD-afflicted; so, join the movement!

Join our 'World Alzheimer's Day' campaign and support the cause. Hold an event, raise awareness and contact your government. Only when we truly understand the challenges we can fight for a better future.

So let’s come together in our “Fight against Dementia”

“Remember those who cannot remember’’

Sailesh Mishra

Programme Coordinator WAD 2008

Founder President, Silver Inning Foundation

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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