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A step towards making B'luru dementia-friendly

Bengaluru: September 26, 2016, DHNS 2:14 IST
People participate in a memory walk as part of the World Alzheimer's Day programme organised by Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India at Cubbon Park in Bengaluru on Sunday. DH PHOTO
To raise awareness on the incurable condition dementia, the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) and Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT) organised an awareness programme ‘Battle to Remember: A step towards dementia-friendly Bangalore’ in Cubbon Park on Sunday.

Over 200 people took part in the event organised to mark the end of World Alzheimer’s month, observed in September. Sunday morning walkers were drawn in and they participated in the activities along with senior citizens, caregivers and medical professionals. The event was supported by Nimhans.

They took part in a ‘memory walk’ to remember how people with dementia were before being afflicted by the condition, which causes memory loss, impairs judgement and affects social skills.

A skit was performed in front of bandstand depicting different aspects of the disorder such as warning signs and how affected people have to be taken care of. A yoga session for senior citizens, games and puzzles to help improve cognition were also organised.

Such activities act as preventive measure and are also helpful for those diagnosed with mild dementia. “People think that dementia is a normal part of ageing and they are not able to recognise the disease.” said Dr Radha S Murthy, co-founder of NMT and president of ARDSI, Bengaluru. Dementia is on the rise in the country but research and infrastructure on the condition is insufficient, she added.

“To make Bengaluru dementia-friendly, besides awareness, more trained caregivers and psychiatrists are required.” A combination of physical training, cognitive training and socialising activities can help in prevention or stalling the condition.

Dr Murthy added that ageing, hypertension and diabetes are risk factors. Volunteers walked around with placards displaying facts about dementia and distributing fliers on the issue, for the benefit of others in the park.

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