General Awareness Programme at Gitanjali School, Jubilee Hills

Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) – Hyderabad Deccan organized "General Public Awareness Program On Dementia And How To Care For Your Elders" on 10 August, 2013, Saturday at 2 PM at Gitanjali School, Jubilee Hills.

The session was attended by about 300 students of classes 8th, 9th and 10th and was facilitated by Mr.Shashidhar and Ms.Bala. The bi-lingual session commenced with Mr. Shashi giving an introduction to the students about the brain and the phenomenon of recollection. Ms. Bala introduced the concepts of long and short-term memory to the students by asking them about their favourite recollections from life.

The students were given examples related to their own lives to explain concepts like forgetfulness as a result of stress, the importance of right nutrition in aiding a healthy memory, the effects of head injury on the brain and temporary and permanent forgetting.

After the introduction on memory and forgetting, the students were told about the different kinds of dementia and their symptoms and causes. They were explained in brief the process of psychological and medical assessments for diagnosing dementia in a person.

The students were then told about ARDSI and given information on its purpose and the different activities conducted by ARDSI. The students were shown a video called 'My Name is Britney' to elaborate on the emotionally debilitating effect of Dementia. The students were then given tips on what they should do if they had an elderly person showing signs of Dementia either in their home or in their neighbourhood.

The session ended with a quiz on Dementia in which the students were asked questions pertaining to what had been covered in the session. The students seemed keen on participating in the session by answering the different questions asked of them and they were handed ARDSI souvenirs and chocolates as prizes. The session ended with a brief photo session of all the quiz winners.

In all, the session was an interactive, high-energy one, with the facilitators delivering the information in a manner that was both interesting and comprehendible by the youngsters. The youngsters in turn seemed to leave with a deeper understanding and sensitivity to the issue.