Booklet on looking after people with dementia

Dr Olinda Pereira, president of People’s Association for Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE), inaugurates the World Alzheimer’s Day programme at Town Hall, Mangaluru, on Saturday.

Elderly persons with dementia need to be looked after with loving care was stressed during the World Alzheimer’s Day programme organised by the People’s Association for Geriatric Empowerment (PAGE) at the Town Hall in Mangaluru on Saturday.

Kavitha said that taking care of patients with dementia was difficult and also stressful. It is not just the problem with memory, there is more to it,” she stressed, while addressing members in the packed hall. “My mother-in-law Mary John Rodrigues not only suffers mood swing but is also abusive and threatens to commit suicide. Sometimes, she locks herself up in a room and cries her heart out,” Kavitha narrated.

‘Show you care’

She said she had engaged her mother-in-law by playing therapeutic music, indulging in humour and avoiding disagreement. “Never think of people with dementia as a burden. Hold their hands, run your fingers through their hair and assure them that you care,” she advised caretakers. “Think of the good times when they are frustrated. Take it as it comes, day by day,” she stressed, as the audience cheered wildly.

Kiran, who takes care of his mother Mangala Bhat, urged the people in the gathering not to humiliate the senior citizens. “Keep a close watch over them. Take care of them as you would treat your children. There were times when I wanted to bang my head against the wall or felt like crying, but one must remember that senior citizens are never a burden,” he stressed.

PAGE Vice President Dr Prabha Adhikari told DH that both Kavitha and Kiran were model caretakers. They headed the caretakers’ forum.

Booklet, documentary

‘Lifeline for Elders’, a booklet with information on home pharmacy supplies, psychiatrists, ambulance services, geriatric specialists, day care centres for elderly people, memory clinics and home physiotherapy among other topics was released.

‘I Don’t Miss Him’, a 53-minute documentary on taking care of people with dementia, was also released on the occasion.

In recognition of their lifetime services, PAGE honoured 90-year-old Vishwanath, 78-year-old athlete Anand Soans and school teacher Parameshwari.

Dr Olinda Pereira, president of PAGE, and secretary Mohanraj were present.

‘Adopt Kerala model to help Alzheimer’s patients’

Jeradin D’Souza, PAGE secretary founder-president of the Mangalore Alzheimer’s Association (MAA), urged the government to implement a scheme on the lines of Kerala to provide infrastructure and financial help to people with Alzheimer’s.

Submitting a resolution to Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil, he said the problem prevents patients from availing of any social security programmes like medical insurance.

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Booklet on looking after people with dementia

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