Awareness Session at Roda Mistry College of Social Work on 'Understanding Alzheimer's Dementia'

  • As a conclusion to the World Alzheimer's Month activities, 2013, an awareness session was conducted at Roda Mistry College of Social Work on Saturday, the 28th of September.
  • The session commenced at 2.30pm and was attended by around 60 students of Roda Mistry College of Social Work, Principal and staff of the college and ARDSI staff. Literature on Dementia in English was distributed to the audience.
  • Ms. Bala began the session with a brief introduction to dementia supported by an animation video on Alzheimer's dementia. She then went on to explain the progression of Alzheimer's Dementia from the initial loss of language, to logical decision making, to apathy, to disturbances in the conceptual understanding of relationships.
  • This was followed by an interactive session on the importance of memories. The audience were able to provide examples of good and bad memories from their lives. She explained to the audience with everyday examples the different kinds of memories such as personal and factual, working memory, tactile and auditory memory, and associative memory. She also spoke of how different people tend to remember different things about the same event or situation that they may have encountered.
  • Ms. Bala then went on to define dementia as failing memory, its prevalence in the population and the different social, medical, psychological and economic implications of the disease. She also spoke of the common complaints that patients come with on their first visit to the doctor.
  • She then listed out the possible causes of dementia like Alzheimer's disease, Stroke, head injury, alcoholism, thyroid and vitamin deficiency, brain infections and medications.
  • She spoke of the progression of the disease enumerating the different symptoms at each stage and then gave the audience several examples of forgetting in someone with Alzheimer's Dementia.
  • Ms. Bala gave the audience a brief outline of other kinds of dementia such as Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body dementia and Fronto-Temporal Dementia.
  • She then spoke of the history of the NIMS Memory Clinic and ARDSI, and the process of assessing and counseling a patient and their care-givers by the staff. She enumerated the different services offered by ARDSI.
  • She concluded with different methods to preserve one's memory such as regular exercise, balanced diet, and cognitively stimulating exercises.
  • She spoke of Supportive care as the mainstay of therapy for dementia patients and ennumerated the different aspects of supportive care including how one must understand and respect the person with dementia.
  • A brief but energetic quiz followed in which the students were awarded ARDSI souvenirs and chocolates for right answers by Ms. Bala. At the end of the session the facilitator was thanked for her educative, interactive and interesting session by the college staff and students.