Take CARE & LOVE the Elders with Alzheimer’s & Dementia’- Top Cop N Shashi Kumar

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Take CARE & LOVE the Elders with Alzheimer’s & Dementia’- Top Cop/Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar during the ‘WORLD ALZHEIMER’S DAY programme hosted by People’s Association of Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE) at Town Hall, Mangaluru on 23 September 2022

Mangaluru: The members of PAGE (People’s Association of Geriatric Empowerment) had done a marvellous job by organizing quite a few programmes/seminars/talks pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease during the “World Alzheimer’s Month” (WAM) which was kicked off on 3 September 2022 at Kadri park attended by a huge gathering- and the Valedictory was held on 23 September 2022 at Town Hall, Mangaluru to mark ‘WORLD ALZHEIMER’S DAY’. “Adios” to the unique and prestigious ‘WAM’, after a glittering valedictory function, which ended with mind-blowing performances by the seniors which enthralled the audience and also surprised them that “Seniors too can Dance and Act, even at a vintage age.

Kudos for a job well done to PAGE members, especially Trustees Dr Prabha Adhikari and Mohan Raj, among others, where the finale of the nearly 22 days of Alzheimer’s Awareness month did enthral the large group of people, both young and old who had assembled at Town Hall. Now, many of the youngsters in the audience came to know that old-timers also do have talents, can do some funky moves, and they too can rock!

The programme began with invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song followed by Prabha Adhikari – Vice President of PAGE who briefed about the significance of World Alzheimer’s Day and said, ”Dementia can affect all aspects of a person’s life, as well as their family’s. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, or you are caring for someone with the condition, remember that there is advice and support available to help you live well. People with dementia should not simply stop doing what they enjoy in life; instead, they should try to remain as independent as possible and continue to enjoy their usual activities. Over time, people with dementia will need help to cope at home, and they may even need residential care in a nursing home eventually”.

“PAGE has been creating awareness among people against illnesses. People suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia need to keep their brains active. The association has proposed to set up a daycare centre and a neuro-rehabilitation programme for the elderly in the City. We need support from the people for this project. If a friend or family member finds it hard to talk to you, make the first move and explain that you still need to see them and tell them how they can help you. Thanks for your continued support during this Alzheimer’s Month, and we look forward to continued support in our future ventures,” added Dr Adhikari.

The programme was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by the dignitaries on the dais namely, Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar; Fr Richard Coelho-Director, Father Muller Charitable Institutions, Mangaluru; Dr M Vijaya Kumar- Vice Chancellor, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University); Dr B Unnikrishnan-Dean, KMC, Mangaluru Dr Kishore Kumar – district Health Officer; Prabhakar Rao- Former Director, MCF; Ms Ramila Shekar- Mental Health Professional; Dr Prabha Adhikari and Mohan Raj-PAGE Trustees; among many others.

Addressing the gathering, Police Commissioner Shashi Kumar said, “I commend PAGE and its members for their initiatives and programmes aimed at caring and loving towards Alzheimer’s/Dementia people. Keep up the good work. Every parent wants to see their child grow and be successful but no parent wants their child to treat them like an unnecessary load on their responsibilities. Old-age people need love and care, and not money! The abuse of elderly people is increasing day by day, and our department is taking necessary steps to stop the abuse of seniors. Organizations like PAGE also play an important role in bringing awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, so that the elderly are not neglected. If PAGE needs any support from our side, we are always ready to help you all”.

Fr Richard Coelho, the Director of FMCI said, “I know the pain and agony of Alzheimer’s since my 89-year-old is suffering from Dementia. But we all children are taking very good care of her, even though she doesn’t remember any of our services. These days youngsters neglect their parents/grandparents or put them in an old-age home. Seniors need love and not better facilities provided at a nursing home or old-age home. Youth should understand the problems of the elderly people, however, these days elderly are being ill-treated by the younger generation which needs to be stopped”.

Vice Chancellor of Nitte Deemed to be University Dr M Vijaya Kumar said, “The elderly must remember that dignity of life is about how well one lives and not how well one survives. Life should be enjoyed till death. I don’t count my age, therefore I feel young, after all, age is just a number. You all should be happy that you have lived all these years since these days many die at a young age due to eating habits, no exercise, drinking, smoking etc. You all have lived a well-balanced life. Not just on Alzheimer’s day, let’s celebrate it every day of our lives”.

District Health Officer Dr Kishore Kumar said, “Those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia need support at home and also from the members of society. This will help the patient’s in managing their stress. It is normal for the elderly to have attention-seeking behaviour in this period”.

Dean of KMC Dr B Unnikrishnan said, “I have been part of PAGE activities, and I compliment Dr Prabha Adhikari and her team for doing a magnificent job in bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many youths have lost their lives addicted to digital technology etc. The best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to have frequent health tests done. Caregivers can help someone feel more comfortable by establishing a constant daily routine. Doing this can help reinforce a sense of familiarity in the person who has Alzheimer’s. Caregivers should try to avoid making significant changes to a routine, as this can be confusing for someone. Individuals with Alzheimer’s often require time to adjust to new people and places, so caregivers should try to implement changes gradually”.

Other dignitaries on the dais also spoke about Dementia and urged the community, especially the youngsters to show love towards the older people, and particularly care for those diagnosed with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s/Dementia. They also complimented PAGE and its members for their concern towards people with Alzheimer’s, and also their unique projects bringing awareness about this disease. Prizes were distributed to the winners in the various contests organized during the WAM.

Trustee of PAGE Mohanraj thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart for making this prestigious September Month dedicated to People with Alzheimer’s a sheer success and asked for community support in their forthcoming ventures pertaining to Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The programme was professionally and eloquently compered by Ms Akshatha Shetty- Assistant Professor at Nitte Hospitality Services, and the cultural part was compered by Ms Vanamala-Project Manager of Yenepoya Clinical Research.

The function ended with a cultural programme, with the Students of St Agnes Teachers Training Institute for Special Education- Bendore performing a mind-blowing dance sequence, and also the members of KMC Navachaitanya and Spoorthi Charitable Trust performing a skit and dance. Students of SDM college also performed a dance cum skit. A bevvy of vintage ladies set the atmosphere into a dancing mood with their dance- and the audience gave them loud applause, and even called for encores. No doubt it was indeed a glittering and entertaining finale to a great month dedicated to people with Alzheimer’s. There were also songs sung by members of various organizations and by students of various institutions.

In conclusion, from my perspective “Every other day, we see news of parents being beaten up by their children, parents and in-laws being forced to do the household chores, being made to live in small dungeon-like rooms, their property being forcefully taken over by over-ambitious children. Many of them suffer in silence as they fear humiliation or are too scared to speak up. After a certain age, health problems begin to crop up leading to losing control over one’s body, even not recognizing one’s own family owing to Alzheimer’s are common in old age. It is then that children begin to see their parents as a burden. It is these parents who at times wander out of their homes or are thrown out. Some dump their old parents or grandparents in old-age homes and don’t even come to visit them anymore”.

Do not treat your parents or grandparents like a burden especially when they need you. Love and take care if you come across any people afflicted with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and make a difference in the community. You can do it – we all can do it to make “Mangaluru Alzheimers’/Dementia Friendly”. Thank You!

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Also Read Related Article: 

With ‘Path Traveled & Path Traversed’ PAGE Kicks Off ‘ALZHEIMER’S MONTH 2022’

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