PLEASE BE THERE TO CARE ! World Alzheimer`s Month to Kick Off on September 7

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PLEASE BE THERE TO CARE! With 2021 Theme ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’ World Alzheimer`s Month to Kick Off on September 7 at Kadri Park, Mangaluru at 7.30 am organized by People`s Association of Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE), Mangaluru

Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during a press meet held at Mangaluru Press Club, Dr Prabha Adhikari –HOD Geriatric Medicine Yenepoya deemed to be University, and Vice President of PAGE said, “The theme for the 2021 campaign for Alzheimer`s Day is “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s” and it is all about the power of knowledge. During the campaign, we are shining a light on the warning signs of dementia and the importance of a timely diagnosis. In seeking out information, advice and support, and potentially a diagnosis, people are better able to prepare, plan and adapt. So join us for the launch of the Month to create awareness on warning signs of dementia and help people access care”.

She further said, “Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is often a challenging and difficult process and varies greatly around the world. To add to this, the stigma surrounding dementia means that many avoid seeking a diagnosis until the very late stage of the condition. We need to change this. We the members of the Peoples Association of Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE) at Mangaluru are joining together to create awareness on early warning signs of dementia so that Dementia progression can be halted. We are launching the awareness programme on the 7th of September (Tuesday) at Kadri Park, Mangaluru with representatives of 20 different associations and organizations. Each organization will create awareness in its own way during the month”.

Dr C.V. Raghuveer –the Former Pro-Chancellor of Yenepoya University and Active member of PAGE said “On 22nd of September (Wednesday) we will have the grand finale and action plan for the year so that more and more facilities are created for those with dementia. We will be holding various competitions for students as well as senior citizens during the month to promote active ageing and prevent dementia. On the inaugural day on 7 September at Kadri Park, there will be a launch of activities with an awareness talk by an expert; Publicity for available facilities; Release of campaign materials; Free Memory Testing and Dementia Risk Assessment and Counselling on prevention online and off-line; and Memory Walk”.

Mohan Raj –CEO, Bright Home Health Care and Joint Secretary/Treasurer of PAGE said, “We will have various guests such as Vice-chancellors of Medical Universities, Principals of colleges, student leaders, Political leaders, District Commissioner, Commissioner of Police, District Judge, Neurologists, Psychiatrists, Geriatric specialists, Physicians, Community Physicians and Heads of various institutions caring for the elderly participating in the launch and the Grand finale programmes”.

Ms Loretta Pinto, Founder and Trustee, Susheg Trust and active member of PAGE said, “We operate an Alzheimer’s facility in Attavar, Mangaluru, Susheg Jivith Neuro Care. We are currently serving 8 patients with a nursing staff of 7. Taking care of patients battling Alzheimer’s dementia is challenging. It requires a great deal of patience, commitment, courage and the determination to serve. The Alzheimer’s brain does not follow a pattern of behaviour, hence we caregivers don’t know what the next challenge would be. We hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Our nursing staff has to deal with moods, tantrums and sometimes are even attacked physically. Our patients come from various backgrounds. We have had individuals who held challenging jobs and a great career, as well as homemakers and blue-collar workers. This disease spares none. We strive to give our patients a life of dignity that every human being deserves. We also respect their privacy and don’t reveal their identities or photographs for gain or publicity.

“The word Dementia is taboo in India, not spoken about freely like in the West. Most families are unhappy to have an Alzheimer’s patient in their midst. For some they are a source of embarrassment and shame, some don’t know how to care for them and live in denial, and finally decide to admit them to our facility. We now operate from a rented building. Our permanent facility in Moodperar near Ganjimat is under construction and sits on an acre of land donated by my husband, Gerald Pinto. It has all the amenities that would make life comfortable for the Alzheimer’s patient like a walking trail, physiotherapy room, music and pet therapy and the like. I humbly appeal to generous donors and corporate houses to help us complete the building. It will house 40 to 45 patients, so we can reach out to as many as possible. We are currently turning down requests from all over India due to the lack of space, and our waitlist is growing. Please feel free to contact us on any aspect of caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients. We would be glad to be of help. Please call me at 9632849058” added Ms Loretta Pinto.

Jerardin D’Souza –Founder, Mangalore Alzheimer’s Association (MAA) and Secretary of PAGE said, ” The inaugural Programme of Alzheimer’s Month will be videocast online at 11 am on the same day through Google meet and YouTube link. Covid-19 protocols will be strictly followed, and guests are requested to wear face masks and keep social distance. We remember those who cannot remember, So please be there to care and Let’s observe the Launch of “World Alzheimer’s Month. For details, you contact Me at 9844074759, or the Joint Secretary & Treasurer Mohan Raj at 9844074759″

Prior to this press meet, there was yet another interaction between the board members and members of PAGE, where the President of PAGE emphasized “These being Pandemic times we have a greater responsibility to reach out to our Suffering Elders in Society, and today Parkinson’s disease is affecting more people and we must address that in our Observation of WORLD ALZHEIMER’S MONTH this year”. Dr Raghuveer convened the meeting and gave details of the structure of Planning for the activities for World Alzheimer’s Month.

Jerardin D’Souza emphasized the importance of various media, including Social Media in reaching out to Society in these troubled Pandemic times. “We will share and inform the public of all our activities for Elders during this World Alzheimer’s Month like Memory Test, memory games, physical check-ups, singing, Memory Quiz competitions, Online Zoom Meetings, Alzheimer’s Doll, involvement of students and the general public”.

Ms Loretta Pinto, CEO, Susheg Trust, which is managing the only Alzheimers Care Centre in the whole of Dakshina Kannada District, volunteered to share her experiences and insights on Alzheimer’s Dementia at the Zoom Meetings that will be conducted during Alzheimer’s Month. Ms Usha Hebbar, Head of Spoorthi Trust and Mohanraj, the Joint Secretary/Treasurer of P.A G E. coordinated and organized the World Alzheimer’s Month launch program and its Finale on 21 September at Kadri Park, Mangaluru”.

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