World Alzheimer's Day 2020: 'Let's talk about dementia'

What is the need?

Alzheimer's disease contributes around 60–70% of cases of dementia. Worldwide, around 50 million people have been affected by dementia, and around 10 million new cases occur every year. Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia but also on their carers, families, and society at large. 

What is Dementia?

It is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform everyday activities.  It mainly affects older people, but it is not a normal part of aging.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

It is the most common form of dementia and a progressive brain disease that results in loss of memory and thinking skills. It destroys the brain cells which leads to memory loss, memory changes, erratic behavior, and loss of body functions. It usually starts slowly but gets worse with time. There is no cure but early detection benefits the patient in treating the disease effectively which includes medicinal, psychological, and caregiving aspects with family and social support.

When is it celebrated?

World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21st September  & world Alzheimer's month in the whole of September every year to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and Dementia.  The theme for the year 2020 is 'Let's talk about dementia'. It is an opportunity for people and organizations to demonstrate how we can overcome and help people live well with dementia.

Warning Signs:

  • Changes in mood
  • Forgetting the recent information
  • Challenges in solving problems
  • Difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home or work
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Difficulty in reading, judging distance, and recognizing color
  • Losing the track of date and time
  • Misplacing the things
  • Withdrawal from social and leisure activities

Tips for prevention:

Engagement in physical, mental, social, and recreational activities such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing for pleasure
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Taking part in adult education courses
  • Playing indoor games such as crosswords, puzzles, scrabble, and chess
  • Swimming
  • Group sports, such as bowling
  • Walking
  • Yoga & Meditation

Significance during Covid-19 pandemic:

The COVID-19 outbreak is challenging for everyone but a person living with dementia may struggle with the guidance to prevent coronavirus. People with dementia are at higher risk from coronavirus & If they catch coronavirus, they are at higher risk of getting worse COVID-19 illness. Hence, it’s important to pay particular attention to them to stay safe & the care should be continued with measures like an apron, mask, and gloves. 


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