On 19 Sept 2009, an awareness session was conducted at Bodhnagar, Warasiguda. Dr. Rukmini Mridula and Dr. Vani Rupela represented ARDSI. Around 30 senior citizens attended the awareness session. Dr. Rukmini provided an overview regarding dementia, the different types of dementia, signs and symptoms of dementia and their management. She gave an example of how Swine flu had become a household name because it is a pandemic and the medical field has found it difficult to find a cure. A lot of awareness has been created about it and now everyone knows the preventive measures. Dementia on the other hand is also dangerous, if not more so because it is a very slow detrioration of an individual.
Dr. Vani then spoke about how ARDSI began and about the services provided by ARDSI. Problems faced by patients and the subsequent stress of caregiving was emphasized upon by giving practical examples. Differences between normal forgetfulness and dementia were also spoken about.
Pamphlets and educational materials were distributed. Questions were welcomed. A lot of senior citizens expressed concerns regarding about their memory problems such as forgetting people's names and then remembering them after some time. Some persons also said that they forget where they place things and forget what they came to buy at a shop. Dr. Rukmini asked more questions to them and then assured them their symptoms are age-related. She also said that if they had any further concerns they should get a check-up done. She spoke about treatable causes of dementia saying that these have to be ruled out and a clear history needs to be taken to make a diagnosis. Some members also asked what help NIMS could do for senior citizens in terms of a concession etc. They were assured that NIMS has the Arogyashree scheme that they can avail and that at the memory clinic, a good service will be provided for them. Some others thanked the speakers for giving them the information and said that this should be telecasted on TV on health related programs. The audience was very active and asked a lot of questions.