Dementia Awareness Program – 26th September, 2022
A session on Dementia Awareness was conducted on 26th September, 2022 for GSCC students to create awareness about dementia and the possible implications of not taking care of our physical and mental health now on our overall well being and how it affects the older generation. Ms. Vidya Shenoy conducted the session and gave her valuable insights in the session. Though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging.
Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily life. Dementia is a progressive and sometimes chronic brain condition that causes problems with their thinking, behavior, and memory. Neurons are degenerating during these disorders and they are irreplaceable which lead them to be living vegetables. There are many different types of dementia like Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Parkinson’s Disease, Mixed Dementia, etc. These disorders can be evaluated through medical and psychological tests. The most common amongst these that people are aware of is Alzheimer’s disease. This disease causes the brain to shrink and neurons in the brain to die. These disorders lead individuals to behave differently than what they used to earlier.
There are various causes that make individuals become more susceptible to these disorders which include poor lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, blood pressure, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, etc. The signs of dementia include loss of memory, not knowing where they are and not remembering their family members, loss of short term memory but remembering earlier events in life, when they are very obstinate, leads to mood swings, and being overly suspicious, etc. There are three stages of dementia namely, initial, middle and advanced. Early diagnosis cannot prevent the disorder but can help individuals not reach the advanced level. There are cognitive tests, brain scans and other tests done for diagnosing dementia.
The caregivers also go through various mental health issues and would require support. Strategies to delay onset would be to have a healthy lifestyle which would incorporate having a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity regularly. Taking care of your mental health and avoiding food items that are difficult to digest can also be helpful. Learn something new and challenge yourself to keep your brain cells active and involve yourself with music, singing and learning new instruments, and languages which improve cognition. According to the World Health Organization, One out of Ten people are at risk for dementia and every 3 seconds, someone is diagnosed with dementia. It is important to create awareness and take care of ourselves.
The session was highly informative and the inputs provided were extremely helpful to the students.