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Monday, March 5, 2007

Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India, Origins and Objectives.

The Man Behind :
Dr. K. Jacob RoyChairman

It was the personal traumatic experience of caring his father late Rev. O.C. Kuriakose Kor Episcopa, that led Dr. Jacob Roy, a Paediatrician by profession, to turn zealously to form a society for the care and support of people affected with dementia. Even in late 80's none of the medical centres in the country were in a position to offer any significant help to those affected. In 1991, Tropical Health Foundation of India, a registered Charitable Society, working for the disabled, took the initiative at the instance of Dr. K. Jacob Roy and late Maj. A.V. Thomas (Rtd.) to organize, the first National Seminar, on Dementia, on 16th and 17th November 1991 at the Renewal Centre in Cochin

The seminar, attended by early 200 delegates from all over the country, unanimously decided to form a national organization for the welfare of people with dementia. They felt the growing need to create awareness about dementia and to initiate programmes, to provide support for the people affected and their families. Dr. Monty Barker, consultant Psychiatrist, University of Bristol, UK, delivered the keynote address. The notable speakers included Dr. Vijay Chandra, then Director of Central Aging and Research, New Delhi, Dr. Venkoba Rao from Madurai Medical College and Dr. Vinod Kumar, AIIMS, New Delhi

The World Federation of National AD Societies and Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) awarded provisional membership for ARDSI in 1992, at the 8th annual Conference held in Amsterdam. Subsequently in 1993 ADI admitted ARDSI as a full member, thus becoming the first Afro-Asian Organisation to get this unique distinction.

What is "Alzheimer's Disease" :

Alois Alzheimer, Eminent German Neurologist and Psychiatrist described the symptoms of Aguste D as a disease in 1906, which was named after him. Great strides have been made in the early diagnosis and treatment of this mind crippling illness. In a totally bleak scenario, where nothing could have been done, four drugs are available now to manage some of the distressing symptoms and help the affected person lead a better life. It is estimated that there are nearly 22 million people suffering from this dreadful condition out which, over 3 million are estimated to be in India. By 2030 this number is expected to double.

Are we capable managing this large number of elderly people with dementia?

With dwindling family support, care of these frail, confused elderly will fall on the community. This is going to be even more difficult in countries like India, where there is gross ignorance coupled with total lack of services for providing a reasonable quality life for the victims and their families in distress.

We at ARDSI would like to embark on a yearlong “National Dementia Awareness Programme” starting from the January 2006.

ARDSI's aims and activities :

1 Series of publications in regional languages on different aspects of AD in print and electronic media.
2a Launch “Parliamentary Friends of Dementia”, to sensitize our parliamentarians and to raise the growing problem of dementia in the parliament and in State legislate assembly.
2b Launch “Media Friends of Dementia” to sensitize the media personal on the growing Problem of dementia and help in raises awareness.
3 Conduct memory walks, painting, photography competition, essay competition, street play etc.
4 Help in setting up services like, memory clinic, day care, and home care, Respite Care etc.
5 Rope in popular film actors, sports personalities, industrialists, parliamentarians an spokes men and Ambassadors to promote the cause – identify brained ambassador..
6 Recognize key persons and institutions that have contributed to develop ARDSI and promote the cause of dementia in the country.
7 To work with the postal department to issue a postal stamp / first day care cover to commemorate the centenary of Alzheimer’s disease.
8 To encourage the President, Prime Minister and other important public figures to speak on behalf of the cause of dementia.
9 To work with the Ministry of Health to include dementia in the National Mental Health Programme
10 To encourage Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to fund, dementia care services.
11 Screening of films on Alzheimer’s in popular TV channels.
12 Involve art, music, street plays, drams to promote the cause
13 Bridge the gap – introduce programmes to bring all generations to come together to talk and share
14 Main events in New Delhi – to coincide with the 12th National conference of ARDSI..

If you have any innovative ideas to promote the cause of dementia by demystifying and destigmatizing this growing public health problem. Please contact the National Office. You could help us by becoming : - Life members- A volunteer- To write/ speak on dementia- To provide funds and materials for the various services.

For more details, please contact :
Programme Officer,ARDSI,
National Office,Guruvayoor Road,
Kunnamkulam – 680 503,
Kerala, India.
Tel. 04885-223801
Helpline: 098461 98473,09846198471
Fax: 04885-222347


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