Mangaluru, Sept 22, 2019: “There are only two mantras to handle patients with dementia. Be mentally prepared for any unlikely situation and take care of them like children,” Kiran Bhat who takes care of his mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 stressed while sharing his experiences as a caretaker of a patient with dementia at the big programme organised to mark World Alzheimer’s Day at Town Hall on Sept 22, forenoon, Saturday.
Another caretaker Kavitha urged the gathering, in particular, elderly people, to set their finances in order.
Earlier in the day, DK DC Sindhu B Rupesh said the problems faced by geriatric population are multidimensional and need a lot of awareness. Civil societies by organising such awareness programmes are helping to create awareness in society. “Geriatric population needs a lot of compassion and compassion is the only way to be aware even in administration,” stressed the DK DC and promised all co-operation.
MCF Limited Director K Prabhakar Rao said unlike in the West, elderly in India are not sufficiently engaged in their post-retirement.
“Elderly people, like our children, are our assets and must be seen as such and treated as such,” he stressed.
Olinda Pereira, a 95-year-old and president of PAGE, whose participation belies all views that old age is a sad age, said most people, old or young, need happiness. “The world will be a happy place if we try to make someone who lives next to us happy,” she stressed.
Head of Department of Psychiatry, K S Hegde Medical Academy, Prof Satheesh Rao urged gathering to have an active mind by learning and doing something that one cares about.
People’s Association for Geriatric Empowerment Vice President Dr Prabha Adhikari M R said more ordinary people are now sensitised about the needs of the elderly and awareness is better experinced. “Alzheimer’s disease is not something to be ashamed of, it is like any other disease,” she stressed.
A book, ‘Lifeline for Elderly’, with the contact numbers of geriatric daycare centres to plumbers was released on the occasion.
The local area MLA Vedavyas Kamath, who arrived later for the programme due to pressing engagements as he said, appreciated the efforts for awareness and said he is always open to such efforts. He asked PAGE to draw up a firm document as to what is particularly needed from Govt for the elders and submit and promised to help as much as possible. But, Govts proper regulatory and monitoring role in the better care of elderly and sick is called for urgently.
Yenepoya (Deemed to be) University Pro Vice Chancellor Dr C V Raghuveer, PAGE Joint Secretary Mohan Raj were also present.
There were a good number of elders present and that was a good part too. The entertainment put up by various colleges like Yenepoya and St.Agnes special school, NGOs and individuals really cheered the audience and there was much appreciation. Some of the elders who participated in dance and song were applauded gladly. However, one fact surfaces about the plush seating at Town Hall - it is far from elder friendly. More people need to take part in this service to sick and elderly here, and not be a source of lively hood as such to people involved in some services to elderly and aged, with gala celebrations on some days, a seamless effort and mechanism from Govt primarily is essential to be in place.