Ritambhara reminds us what we need to do to ensure that elders in our family, in the neighbourhood or around us, are taken good care of to avoid one of the worst forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s a special feature, on the occasion of the World Alzheimer’s Day, on Sept. 21 (Thursday), this year. Read more exclusively in Different Truths.
As we concentrate our efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer and dementia on the World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21st of each year, let’s know about a few things we shouldn’t miss. It is disheartening to know that every 60 seconds, someone across the globe is developing Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the number of people in the anguish of Alzheimer is on the rise and if the present trend continues, it is expected to quadruple in the next three decades. It is one of the leading causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even impeded.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly known form of dementia that adversely affects a person’s memory and thinking ability. It doesn’t appear all of a sudden. In fact, its progression is traced through seven stages as a person advances in age and involves personality, behavioural and judgmental changes. People suffering from Alzheimer often account for embarrassing situations for themselves and those around them. They seem to be indifferent to others and over time face language or movement problems. They need more love, care and supervision. Since a person ailing with Alzheimer can’t take care of himself, those living with them need to be aware of education, support, expectations and legal issues.
Some Facts Related with Alzheimer’s disease
- The probability of acquiring this disease increases considerably after the age of 70 and affects more than half of the population above 85 years of age.
- Although increased age is the major risk factor associated with it, genetic and other risk factors cannot be ruled out.
- Some of the characteristic symptoms, present in varying degree of severity from person to person, include inability to take care of their things – often losing or misplacing them, problems with performing seemingly – easy and familiar tasks, struggling to write or speak, mood or behavioural fluctuations, poor judgmental ability, loss of interest in performing daily chores, etc. Diagnosis of the disease is based on a comprehensive examination and both medications and non-medication treatments.
How to Take Care of Your Family Member Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease?
When it comes to recognising the warning sign such as memory loss, behavioural changes, disorientation, etc., knowledge about the disease is of utmost importance. It is imperative to know as to what to expect from your loved ones as they get older and how to live with them as they approach their twilight years since a person having Alzheimer is not capable of making important decisions such as healthcare or financial. We shouldn’t forget that Alzheimer’s disease has got to do nothing with intelligence; it is a state of loss of memory. The disease is progressive in nature and the person who lives with them should understand. For instance, there is repetitiveness in the speech of the person as they do not remember what they say. So, they keep on repeating the same words.
This International Alzheimer’s Day, let us take a vow to understand those who are living with Alzheimer and support them in the best possible way.
©Ritambhari Kumari Upadhyay
Photos from the Internet
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A Panjab University, IIT- Roorkee, and IIRS-ISRO alumnus, academician, and researcher, Ritambhara is a writer by choice. Her passion for reading and writing has impelled her to foray into the world of writing. As a freelance writer and editor, she loves to pen-down whatever comes to her mind. She staunchly believes, “Truth doesn’t admit any impediments.”