With yet another World Alzheimer’s Day observed on September 21, caregivers and doctors are pressing for dementia to be recognised as an emerging epidemic. This urging comes from the facts stated by the World Health Organisation according to which, 7.7 million new dementia cases are reported every year at the rate of 1 in every 4 seconds.
Dementia is a progressive and degenerative brain disorder of which Alzheimer’s is the common form. It is characterised by symptoms like loss of memory, impaired judgement and reasoning, difficulty performing daily chores, and changes in mood and behaviour. Normal ageing has nothing to do with dementia.
Experts want dementia to be included in the national health programmes along with other major non-communicable diseases because India already has around 4 million elderly suffering from it.
The early warning signs of Alzheimer’s may differ from person-to-person, but certain indications can be common. They are:
Memory Loss- It involves forgetting recent experiences which could be related to family, significant places like home, or important dates and events.
Confusion- Confusing places that are well-known to the individual, time, name of an important person in their life, and activities performed such as eating or bathing is an indication of memory going bad.
Difficulty Performing Chores- Even performing the basic and familiar chores of day to day life such as cooking, shaving, or arranging files becomes a task for people with Alzheimer’s. They tend to misplace things too often. They may leave a particular thing at a routine place and will have trouble finding them.
The disease can be managed by following a brain-healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, activities that stimulate the brain and a nutritious diet.
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