60-km walk to mark Alzheimer's Day

To create awareness on the growing number of elders developing Alzheimer’s disease in the country, Nightingales Centre for Ageing and Alzheimer’s and the Bangalore Chapter of Alzheimer’s and Related Disorder Society of India are organising a 60-km ‘Marathon Memory Walk’ from Kolar to Bangalore to mark the World Alzheimer’s Day.

The walk will commence in Kolar on September 19 and culminate in Bangalore on September 21 on World Alzheimer’s Day with a public meeting. The walk will be flagged off by Kolar MLA Varthur Prakash, wherein a mobile exhibition will lead the walk. A large number of caregivers, senior citizens, health care professionals and those concerned with dementia are expected to participate.

En route, over ten memory screening camps at primary health centres in the rural areas will be organised. Placards will be displayed and pamphlets on dementia will be distributed as part of public education and over 100 dementia patients will be present.

Former chief minister S M Krishna and Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil are expected to be present at the culminating event at the Nightingales Centre for Ageing and Alzheimer’s at Kasturinagar. 

Nightingales will also submit a memorandum to the policy makers highlighting the need to work for the welfare of those suffering from dementia.

The memorandum states that each district should have one memory clinic at the district headquarters hospital; day care facilities for dementia patients at district level; allocating at least 10 beds for geriatric care in every district headquarter hospital; training of health care professionals in memory screening and dementia care; regulatory body for old age homes and setting minimum standards of facilities and services; making Bangalore a dementia friendly City and recommending to the Indian Medical Council and Indian Nursing Council to include dementia care as a subject in the medical, nursing and paramedical curriculum.

According to World Health Organisation, there are 36 million elders worldwide affected with dementia and nearly 7.7 million new cases are added to this at the rate of one person every four seconds.

In India, 3.7 million are affected as per the Dementia India report 2010. In Bangalore,  over 30,000 are suffering from Dementia.

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