Udupi: ‘Bharat Ratna Vajpayee,former PM, George Fernandes ,former Defence Minister, Mohd.Ali, Champion Boxer, are all united by the common thread, the sad , Terminal affliction, Dementia or Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s it is a very Secular Disease ” lamented Er. Jerardin D’Souza-Founder Director-Mangalore Alzheimer’s Association MAA. He was speaking after inaugurating ‘World Alzheimer’s Day’ at A V Baliga Memorial Hospital, Udupi.
”Having met Richard Shreider, Director of Alzheimer’s Facilities in Seatlle, USA, I thought of using his experience and knowledge to help our suffering Mangaloreans”- said Jerardin D’Souza sharing his story as How he, an Engineer, happened to be Active in Alzheimer’s Awareness. ”The terminal disease which has no cure results in irreversible death of brain cells. The affected live long lives of maximum 20 years, hence the Care Giving part becomes a major part. We need to train Care Givers, even if they are immediate family members.” he said.
”Its a Medico-Social Case, where Doctors and Society need to join to find a better Quality of life rather than lamenting that there is NO CURE.” he said. ”I have undergone an online course ”Understanding Dementia” from University of Tasmania, Australia, which anyone can do, its Free & very useful for care givers & everyone” said Jerardin D’Souza. “A daughter who resigned her lucrative job to take care of her Alzheimer’s affected father, found the care giving very stressful and got mentally strained and had to be admitted to psychiatry ward.”. ”The Care Giver is the First Victim was Richard Shreder’s warning, ” said D’Souza
Dr A V Baliga Charities Mumbai, Trustee, Dr R V Baliga, a Surgeon himself, in his Presidential address, opined that Alzheimer’s is the impact of modern medicine. He said people live longer with advanced medicine. Longevity of life span results in shrinking of the brain cells. Stating that understanding the disease and sharing of knowledge is the need of the hour. Baliga said suspicion, anger, anxiety, repetition of acts were symptoms.
The CMO of A V Baliga Hospital & Psychiatrist, Dr P Venkataraya Bhandary welcomed the gathering saying that a healthy lifestyle which includes exercises such as brisk walking, maintaining a healthy weight and giving up smoking were linked to reduced risk of dementia. “A person should seriously maintain a healthy lifestyle after forty, conditions such as diabetes, genetics, sedentary lifestyle and stress should be controlled. Dementia should be a public health priority and more public awareness on it is required ” he added.
A booklet ”A short Handbook on Dementia” was released which is compiled by the Psychiatrists of the AV Baliga Hospital Dr K S Latha, Dr Deepak Mallya, Dr Virupaksha Devaramane & Dr P V Bhandary. There was a meaningful Skit depicting the various stages of Dementia and the Care Giving aspects brilliantly enacted by the Staff & Doctors.
Er. Jerardin D’Souza was asked to share more of his experiences from a layman’s perspective which he shared citing his Training in Palliative Care at KMC Mangalore under Dr Jochen Becker, Germany, giving details and saying that it is not easy to diagnose the type of Dementia since symptoms keep changing over a period of time. It is a huge challenge to the Doctors, hence Public should understand the limitations of the medical profession when treating Dementia. He also made a special mention of his dear friend Engineer Vinay Bhandary who had saved his life in a road accident & he was present for this Rare Humane Function.
Dr Latha, Sr Deepika shared their experiences in the Scientific session that followed. Dr Deepak Mallya delivered the vote of thanks. It was indeed a very meaningful, humane Program to connect to Society and create awareness on Alzheimer’s Dementia, which has no cure.