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Shadows Of Alzheimer’s

Posted by Shubhra Agnihotri
November 30, 2017

Research studies state that after the age of 85, almost 50% of the brains in the world have the chances of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That’s a number which came as a shock to me along with many more.

So it says, the person next to me has a fair amount of chances of getting detected with Alzheimer’s.

I would say it’s the trend and the lifestyle patterns, which in a way dangerously makes us independent of each other. We don’t need to socialize for work as much as baby boomers used to do earlier.

We have WhatsApp and LinkedIn to stay in touch and maintain relationships virtually, which very well goes with the popular concept of ‘friends with benefits.’ Your demanding workspace asks you to compromise on your basic health etiquettes, relying too much on fast food, which does an excellent job in making us mechanical.

So what causes Alzheimer’s?

After completing almost a year with the Dementia Care Centre, I feel the reasons are:

1. Lack of affectionate relationships in one’s life: If a person has had a history of bad relations, especially with the family, and then with friends, tend to suffer an impact and damage their brain cells, which is caused due to a setback, which gradually develops into depression, without anyone noticing about it and addressing it.

2. Facing perpetual shaming: Accusing someone of their failures, mistakes, limitations, in the form of acerbic language, leads to damage, which elevates as one age.

3. Lack of hygiene: We all have a laid back attitude when it comes to our own health because it only hits when your immunity breaks down and then you don’t have any way out. Not consuming brain foods, is one of the biggest reasons along with lousy lifestyle patterns, like listening to music for long hours on headphones, talking on mobile phones a lot, working late at nights compromising on the sleep hours are the causes.

Dementia deteriorates, and that’s the fact. Once you have it, it’s going to get worse. Medications slow down the process but don’t treat its roots.

So, there’s a lot of knowledge and awareness needed.

Alzheimer’s needs:

Effective medicines and a strong medical intervention: Effective medication, which improves the loss of synapses in the brain, thereby retaining the blood-flow in the nerves of the brain.

Activity-centric/generating culture: Dementia is often diagnosed after 4-5 years post its onset. Now that’s the living proof of our attitudes towards our health. Anyway, we need an activity generating environment and culture for the ageing population, where the caretakers have a fair amount of knowledge about the type of the activities, which helps in retaining and maintaining their skills, which further boost their self-esteem and confidence. Even families, who are the primary caretakers for the ageing population, need to have an activity-centric approach for maintenance of their physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional skills. There needs to be pan awareness about the importance of these activities and the way they are carried out.

Building sensitivity towards their needs: Dementia is a gradual process, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t feel. Feelings are naturally imbibed in every human being, it cannot be unlearned. So dementia doesn’t make a person unlearn feelings. Families and the organisations who are working towards it should have regular sensitivity sessions, as their job tend to become physically and emotionally exhaustive. So extensive awareness sessions and workshops should be an investment which the organisations should make. The primary focus should be on the mental health of the caretakers, which shall serve the purpose further.

Strong preventive measures: There should be a culture of effective brain health and its remedies. The health of the children should be taken care of and the factors that result in the atrophy of the brain cells, should be taken care of through informative discussions amongst each other.

More professionals in this field: The ratio of people with Alzheimer’s keeps on increasing. So we need dedicated and professional social workers, gerontology trainers and experts to work for the ageing population as there is a scarcity of it. It has a great scope, where the field diversify with changing trends.

There are a lot of subfactors too which drop under the primary factors. This issue can go on and on, where new things of use shall emerge every time.This is just a small effort of mine to mainstream the issue which I am working for.

All the factors can be addressed, so let’s begin with ourselves.