Healthy Ageing

ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter conducted an awareness session at the Retirement Expo organized by Dignity Foundation on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2011 at Taj Deccan. Dr. K. Chandrasekhar (Vice- President, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan and Director, Division of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry at Asha Hospitals, Hyderabad), gave a presentation on Healthy Ageing.

Dr. Chandrasekhar explained the present scenario of the aged population in India and how significant improvements in health and longevity among the elderly are leading to increased percentages of ageing population and rates of old age dependency. The process of ageing is universal and is degenerative in nature. He also explained about the biological changes that accompany ageing, like changes in the skin, hormonal changes (decreased production of growth hormone), decline in sexual functioning and neurological changes (decreased cerebral blood flow and brain weight), etc.

He told that dementia is more common among older people. It is can caused by a number of diseases which lead to changes in the brain, ultimately resulting in the loss of nerve cells (neurons) which carry messages in the brain and are responsible for storing memories. He also spoke about the symptoms of dementia and highlighted the difference between dementia and normal forgetfulness.

The audience was given an overview of what is dementia, the problems faced by persons with dementia, the progression of the disease and the importance of early detection and intervention. The concerns of the senior citizens were addressed by explaining the difference between normal and abnormal forgetfulness, and the early signs of dementia.

Dr. Chandrasekhar also highlighted the activities of ARDSI Hyd Deccan chapter, such as the activity centre for persons with dementia, monthly caregivers meetings, training programs, counseling sessions and memory walk.