World Alzheimer's Day, 21st September 2013

World Alzheimer's Day, 21st September 2013 was celebrated with great gusto by ARDSI (Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India) Hyderabad Deccan chapter, in association with the Memory Clinic, Department of Neurology, NIMS and Asha Hospital. To commemorate the event, the international award-winning documentary on Alzheimer's Dementia 'Bicycle Spoon Apple' was screened at Lamakaan on Saturday at 3.30 pm. The film screening was a culmination of a month long awareness drive organised by ARDSI- Hyd Deccan to commemorate World Alzheimer's Month, 2013.

'Bicycle Spoon Apple' is an international award-winning documentary, directed by Oscar-nominated director Carles Bosch and serves as a poignant glimpse into the life of Pasqual Maragall, the former Mayor of Barcelona and President of Catalunya who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2007. It also features the services offered at the Memory Clinic, Department of Neurology, NIMS, as part of different medical organisations throughout the world dealing with patients of dementia.

The event was attended by almost 140 people who comprised medical and health-care professionals from leading city hospitals and medical institutes, representatives of government and NGOs, yoga therapists, psychologists, students from various colleges, volunteers and families of persons with dementia. The welcome address by Ms. Amulya.R, Psychological Counselor at ARDSI, and Vote of Thanks, by Ms. Divya Raj, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Neurology, highlighted the comprehensive services of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan offered in association with NIMS, Asha and Yashodha Hospitals - memory assessments and screenings, dementia day care center, counselling, home visits, caregiver support and training.

The event concluded with a press meet and an informative Q&A session with a distinguished expert panel comprising of Dr. Subhash Kaul, Head, Department of Neurology, NIMS; Dr.Suvarna Alladi, President, ARDSI and Neurologist, NIMS; Ms. Dimpi Bhattacharya, Joint Secretary, ARDSI; Mr.Shashidhar, Treasurer, ARDSI; Ms. Bala, Joint Secretary, ARDSI. During the Q&A session the audience also expressed their heartfelt views about the film and how it had been a source of immense learning for them about the disease.

Dr. Kaul summarized causes and prevalence of dementia in India and Dr. Suvarna Alladi re-iterated key messages from the recently released World Alzheimer's 2013 Report "Dementia – A Journey of Caring" -Making dementia a national health priority, increasing awareness of the disease, providing societal and systemic support to caregivers, working with health and social care services towards a comprehensive system of long-term care for people with dementia. Mr. Shashidhar Komaravolu and Ms. Bala detailed the challenges of formal and informal dementia care in the Indian context, including high costs, limited help-seeking by families, delayed diagnosis, and inadequate access to information and support.