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World Alzheimer’s Day 2016 - ‘Remember Me’

Health Watch   - G J E 4
Highlights
  • World Alzheimer's Day 2016 is celebrated on September 21st to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease.
  • The theme for The World Alzheimer's Day 2016 is 'Remember Me'
  • It is a time to reflect on the struggles of people with Alzheimer's and to remember to include them in mainstream life.
World Alzheimer's Day is celebrated to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease, Though, over the years the awareness about this disease has increased, there is continued misconception about dementia and the problems faced by the patients.
World Alzheimer’s Day 2016 - ‘Remember Me’
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World Alzheimer's Day is organized by Alzheimer's Disease International, which consists of 85 organization dedicated to Alzheimer's disease from across the world. September 21st was chosen as World Alzheimer's Day to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Alzheimer's Disease International on September 21st 1994 with the whole of September month dedicated to Alzheimer's.

‘‘Remember Me’ is the theme for World Alzheimer’s day 2016’
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Theme for World Alzheimer's Day 2016:

The theme for World Alzheimer's day 2016 is 'Remember Me' and is aimed at reflecting on the loss of memory associated with the disease and the stigma still practiced. People who are affected with Alzheimer's are often isolated from the rest of the society as people tend to believe that the patient no longer remembers or recognizes them. This leads to further isolation of the patient with feelings of abandonment, loneliness and an inability to ask for help when the need arises. The theme of 'Remember Me' is a message for people to remember the patient who once served a big purpose in their life but is currently suffering from dementia. There should be a conscious effort to include them in activities which help them to feel included and which would aid them in slowing progression of the disease.

Hard-Hitting Statistics about Alzheimer's
  • It is no longer a disease solely associated with developed nations.
  • Some one develops Alzheimer's disease every 68 seconds.
  • Most people believe that there is no detailed understanding about Alzheimer's in their country
  • 5.4 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer's.
  • By 2050, 16 million people in the US will live with Alzheimer's
  • By 2050, 131.5 million people across the world will live with dementia, out of which 68% will live in developing nations.
  • Every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

The symptoms of the disease condition start with a mild condition with the progression that can lead to the death of cells, disrupting normal life and increasing dependency.
  • Memory Loss: This is the well known symptom of the disease and begins with an initial confusion to more severe memory loss like forgetting where everyday items like car keys are placed. Though losing car keys can happen to anyone, the frequency of forgetfulness is stronger with a persisting confusion.
  • Inability to follow simple instructions: Cooking meals which may have been a normal activity may no longer be possible due to an inability to follow cooking recipes.
  • Inability to recollect people's names or how they may be associated.
  • Considerable change in the mood, which could range from being very sweet to rage for no apparent reason.
  • Drawing into a shell with no interest to undertake social activities.
  • Inability to use the right words or use the right terms
Helping and Caring for People with Alzheimer's Disease

Here are some tips to help people with Alzheimer's cope with the changes and to help them lead a respectful and a good quality of life.
  • Speak to the individual with love and look at them in the eye. It should never be strict instructions that are shouted across the shoulder, but should be simple suggestions that are given to them using the right tone and with the right body language.
  • Never try to argue as mood swings and confusion are symptoms of the condition. Instead engage them with an activity like a small snack or even a walk in the park.
  • Make a conscious effort to bring the individual to sit with the family for meals, they might forget how to use a spoon or might spill the food they eat, but feeling loved will aid in delaying the progression of the disease.
  • Never use negative comments against them, instead be positive and let them feel that there is help when they need it.
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that begins with mild symptoms and progresses. The progression of the disease can be limited to a certain extent by exercising, being active, getting involved in social activities and solving mind puzzles.

It is important to remember that the person suffering from Alzheimer's disease once played a pivotal role and that their present condition should not lead to their isolation from society. Their inability to remember you or to argue with you is a symptom of their disease condition and so, concerted efforts should be taken to provide them with a supportive environment.

This World Alzheimer's Day 2016 is a time to 'Remember Me', a time to remember to visit your loved one with Alzheimer's, a time to remember to include them in activities and a time to remember the memories they left behind.

References:
  1. World Alzheimer's Month - (https:www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month/about)
  2. Health Days 2016 - (http://www.moh.gov.sa/en/HealthAwareness/healthDay/2016/Pages/HealthDay-2016-09-21.aspx)
  3. Know the Ten Signs of Alzheimer's Disease - (http://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp)
  4. Alzheimer's Disease - (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-disease.htm)
  5. Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease - (https:www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/caring-person-ad/understanding-how-ad-changes-people-challenges-and-coping)
  6. World Alzheimer Day - (https:www.alzinfo.org/articles/world-alzheimers-day/)
Source: Medindia
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