Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) – Hyderabad Deccan was invited to address the teachers of Abhyudhaya School, Bakaram on “Dementia”. The event was held on April 09, 2011 Saturday, from 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, at Abhyudhaya School, Bank Colony, Bakaram (Hyderabad).
The session was attended by 40 teachers, and commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. B Mohan Rao (Correspondent) of Abhyudhaya Group of Institutions, 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 spoke about ARDSI as a national organization, its inception and the role it has played both at the government sector and in the society at large. He highlighted ARDSI’s achievements over the years and also spoke about how the Hyderabad Deccan chapter came into being. He spoke about the local chapter’s goals which are primarily to improve quality of life of persons with dementia and their caregivers, creating awareness in the society and hence making Hyderabad a dementia-friendly city. Highlighted the activities that included conducting monthly caregiver meetings, training programs, counseling sessions, memory walk, and running an activity centre for persons with dementia.
Mr. Shashidhar spoke about the signs and symptoms of Dementia and also highlighted the difference between Dementia and Normal forgetfulness. He gave an overview to the audience regarding ‘what is dementia’ and 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. Ms Bala addressed concerns of senior citizens by explaining the differences between normal and abnormal forgetfulness, and early signs of dementia and also reiterated the need for family members to acknowledge the problem and seek appropriate support from local community, family members, Healthcare professionals and organizations such as ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan.
Ms Bala emphasized the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by individuals above the age of 50 which includes regular exercise and stress free life supported by periodic health checkup. She invited the audience to join as members and actively participate in whatever way they could with ARDSI, Hyderabad Deccan.
The audience listened to both speakers with rapt attention and asked questions regarding the disease and its treatment. Some of them had concerns about their memory which were addressed by Bala and Shashidhar, and also directed the participants to undergo a memory screening at the Memory Clinic at NIMS. Especially if they were worried about forgetfulness.
Ms Uma (Senior Teacher) spoke about her family’s approach to managing a dementia patient at home (father). Almost all members of the audience were interested in volunteering for ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan and requested for a memory screening camp be organized at their school. Mr Mohan Rao mentioned that the surrounding locality consisted of retired bank and PSU employees (majority) in the age range of 50-80 years. He offered the school premises and all the staff of Abhyudhaya School towards conducting such a camp.
Dr K Raghuveer Reddy of Sai Institute of Sports Injury and Arthroscopy spoke of early recognition of joint injuries amongst the elderly and importance of treating the same. Dr Rajesh – Head Dept of Phsyiotherapy at Sai Institute of Sports Injury and Arthroscopy sought inputs from ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan to train their Physiotherapists on how to treat patients with dementia.
The session ended with a vote of thanks by Ms Vasundhara (Senior Teacher)
Mementos were given to all the speakers.