General Awareness Program on Healthy Memory at Pensioners Family Welfare Association, J Rama Rao Apartments (Saroornagar)

Date: 17 Nov 2013

Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) – Hyderabad Deccan was invited to speak on "Memory and Healthy Ageing" on November 17, 2013 Sunday, 4:00 PM – 6.00PM, at Pensioners Family Welfare Association, J Rama Rao Apartments, Saroornagar.

The session was attended by 50 participants, commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. P Pandu Ranga Rao (General Secretary - Senior Citizen Welfare Association), who spoke of the importance of awareness on health issues amongst the elderly.

Ms. Bala (Joint Secretary of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter), appreciated the Senior Citizen Welfare Association's concern about the community and to bring awareness of Dementia to their members. She started the session by speaking about dementia and her personal experience with it. She then spoke briefly about the causes of dementia, signs and symptoms of dementia and highlighted the difference between dementia and normal forgetfulness. An overview was given to the audience on 'What is Dementia' and the various types. She spoke about the incidence of dementia and using practical examples, the problems faced by persons with dementia, progression of the disease and importance of early identification and intervention. She addressed concerns of senior citizens by explaining the differences between normal and abnormal forgetfulness, and early signs of dementia.

Ms Bala spoke of the importance of a healthy, low carbohydrate diet, low-fat and vitamin B12 rich diet and high vegetable intake to reduce the risk of dementia; an interactive discussion began about the importance of exercise, music, meditation and yoga, playing games, learning new language/s or skills and reading to keep oneself occupied and engaged mentally and physically.

Mr.Shashidhar and Ms.Bala spoke about ARDSI as a national organization, its inception and the role it has played both at the government level and in the society at large. They highlighted ARDSI's achievements over the years and also spoke about how the Hyderabad Deccan chapter came into being. A brief overview of the activities including monthly caregiver meetings, training programs, counseling sessions, memory walk, home visits and running an activity center for persons with dementia.

The audience listened with rapt attention and asked many questions regarding the disease and its treatment. Brochures, pamphlets and informative material regarding dementia, normal forgetfulness and aging were also distributed.

Mr Madhuker Rao (President) re-iterated the importance of engaging with young people / next generation at the end of the session, Mr Ramakrishnaiah (Secretary) proposed a vote of thanks.

The session was possible because of the support and persistence of Mr Pandu Ranga Rao (Volunteer and Member ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter), a big thanks to him for enabling this program.