Patience, the most important quality, is insufficient in caring for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It can be frustrating when a child has to care for a parent who doesn’t remember who they are, keeps asking the same questions, or doesn’t even remember recent events.
But the stigma is worse. Gong Chong Shion, project director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Malaysia Foundation (ADFM), said discrimination against people with dementia was more of a misunderstanding than a disorder.
To address this situation, in the context of World Alzheimer’s Month 2021, ADFM has launched a series of programs to raise awareness, engage communities, and reduce stigma.
Dementia and memory loss are closely related, although similar symptoms can and do occur with many types of memory problems, there are some important differences.
As geriatrician Elizabeth Chong told Sun, while dementia primarily affects older people, it’s not part of the aging process. “Rather than a specific disease, dementia is a general term for impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with daily activities,” he said.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. According to the 2018 National Health and Morbidity Survey, nearly one in ten people over 60 years have dementia.
Unfortunately there is no cure. Chong, a senior instructor at ADFM, said the treatment was only aimed at slowing the deteriorating process in order to improve the quality of life for victims and their caregivers.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, the pharmacologic action is to prescribe acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Drug-free options are cognitive stimulation therapy or rehabilitation, and memories and works in life stories.
“While dementia is mostly related to older people, it can affect younger people as well,” Chong said. “Patients under the age of 60 are relatively young with early dementia,” he explained.
The most common warning signs include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, language problems, disorientation of time and place, poor or poor judgment, difficulty keeping track of things, placing things incorrectly, changes in mood or behavior. , Having problems with the image or space. Connecting and withdrawing from work or social activities.
Chong said early detection would lead to timely counseling and social support, which would allow for faster assessment and treatment for reversible causes. “It also helps make it easier to treat or manage comorbidities that can affect cognitive function,” he said.
Early detection helps plan future care for individual victims to improve quality of life, social competence, and future safety. “It could also delay the need to send patients to nursing homes,” he said.
Gan said ADFM’s effort is to create opportunities for people with dementia, their caregivers, professionals, the media and the public to work together to address issues while working with governments to improve care. Can go
“It is important to raise awareness of the importance of implementing the global national dementia policy adopted by the World Health Organization in May 2017,” he said.
The ADFM program for World Alzheimer’s Month, launched last Saturday, will feature a virtual memory walk and a series of zoom awareness talks.
Members of other organizations as well as elected officials will deliver important messages to help build dementia-friendly communities. “We hope people will come together to go online with us”. We seek to take 10 million steps to raise awareness about dementia and encourage people from all walks of life to join this important cause. “They are,” said Gan.
The program also includes yoga classes for seniors, seminars on expressive arts and dance classes. “Our theme this year is ‘A new journey begins with early diagnosis’. “If we can see early signs of dementia, it allows early intervention and slows down the damage,” he said.