Alzheimer’s Day (September 21) | 21 September 2020
Seychelles Alzheimer’s Foundation calls for more support
Today is Alzheimer’s Day worldwide, and here in the Seychelles, the Seychelles Alzheimer’s Foundation (SAF) is celebrating it too. Throughout the month, the Foundation has organised various activities to raise awareness about the disease, and today it would be especially fitting to sit down and reflect a little on this disease which, in the light of the current coronavirus pandemic, is being forgotten.
Let’s look at a few facts about the disease, not to frighten anyone, but more to raise awareness about it.
- It has been estimated that a person gets Alzheimer’s every 3 seconds worldwide.
- Because we are now living longer, it is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. The risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia increases with age, affecting an estimated 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 and 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80.
- It does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, educated and less educated. Anyone can get this disease! Examples of famous people who had Alzheimer’s are President Ronald Reagan and actor Robin Williams.
- Memory problems are typically one of the first signs related to Alzheimer’s disease. However, memory and thinking problems can also be due to other causes such as stroke, a tumor, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, side effects of medication or an infection. It is best to consult a doctor to find out the cause!
- Alzheimer’s disease can be definitely diagnosed only after death, by linking clinical measures with an examination of brain tissue in an autopsy. However, while the patient is alive, a doctor may conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language.
- Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and it is unlikely that any one drug or other intervention can successfully treat it. Currently, the focus is on helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioural symptoms, and slow down certain problems, such as memory loss.
- Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can have high physical, emotional, and financial costs. Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programmes that teach families and caregivers about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about ways to deal with difficult behaviour and other caregiving challenges can help. The SAF organises workshops regularly to help train caregivers in this area.
- Joining a support group is a critical lifeline. A support group allow caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort. The SAF has a regular support group meeting. To find out when the next one is on, call the SAF Helpline 2817878.
As today is a celebration of Alzheimer’s, why don’t you make a donation towards the SAF? Or become a member? You can give us a call on 2527871, 2517460, 2576080 or 2827878. You can also write to us on email@example.com
We need all the support we can get!
Contributed by SAF