General Awareness Program at LakshmiNagar, Saidabad

Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) – Hyderabad Deccan organized "General Public Awareness Program on Memory in Healthy Ageing and Disease " on October 29,2011 Saturday, 4:30 PM – 6.30PM, at Venkateshwara Bhakta Samajam, Lakshmi Nagar, Saidabad in association with Senior Citizen Welfare Association (Saidabad Zone).

The session was attended by 60 participants, commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. Venkata Chalam in-charge Senior Citizen Welfare Association, Saidabad Zone, who wished all the participants and explained the aim of this program which is to sensitize the community and to take best care of demented elderly.

Mr. Shashidhar (Treasurer of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter), appreciated the Senior Citizen Welfare Association’s concern about the community and to bring awareness of Dementia to their members.

He spoke about the history of Dementia, signs and symptoms of Dementia and highlighted the difference between Dementia and Normal forgetfulness. An overview was given to the audience on 'What is Dementia' and the various types. He spoke about the incidence of dementia and using practical examples, the problems faced by persons with dementia, progression of the disease and importance of early identification and intervention. He addressed concerns of senior citizens by explaining the differences between normal and abnormal forgetfulness, and early signs of dementia.

According Mr. Shashidhar the underlying causes of Dementia is still relatively unknown but in the case of Vascular Dementia (43% of the Dementia patients in India) the cause is identified as Stroke due to Hypertension, Diabetes, etc. If the causative factors contributing to stroke are managed well and the individual leads a healthy and active life, Vascular Dementia can be avoided to a large extent.

He also suggested that a healthy, low carbohydrate diet, low-fat and vitamin B12 rich diet and high vegetable intake promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of dementia.

Mr.Shashidhar and Ms.Bala spoke about ARDSI as a national organization, its inception and the role it has played both at the government level and in the society at large. They highlighted ARDSI's achievements over the years and also spoke about how the Hyderabad Deccan chapter came into being. He then highlighted the activities that included conducting monthly caregiver meetings, training programs, counseling sessions, memory walk, and running an activity centre for persons with dementia.

Finally Mr. M Bali Reddy, a Yoga practioner came forward and appreciated the speakers and he added something to VAD. And explained how YOGA may help in leading a healthier and better life. The audience listened to both speakers with rapt attention and asked questions regarding the disease and its treatment. Brochures, pamphlets and informative material regarding dementia, normal forgetfulness and aging were also distributed.