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Sunday, March 1, 2009

ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter Inauguration

November 18th 2008 is a very important day for Hyderabad, nay, Andhra Pradesh. The ARDSI (Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India) Hyderabad Deccan Chapter has been formally inaugurated at NIMS, Hyderabad in a simple function.

Dr Alladi Suvarna, Neurologist from NIMS, President Local Chapter, welcomed everyone. She gave a simple lucid account of Alzheimer's Disease. Memory loss need not always be due to AD. Causes like Stroke, Head injuries etc may also cause it. These are treatable and reversable. But in AD the memory loss gradually worsens day by day spread over some 8-10 years. During the last stages patients do not even remember how to eat or walk. They become highly frustrated and become agressive and unmanageable at times, mostly because they are highly confused and do not understand what is hapeening to them. Caring for AD patiends involves surprises and fresh learning everyday. She said that one could try to postpone AD by keeping the brain always busy with puzzles, learning activities etc. Turmeric is likely to help preventing AD. She also spoke about memory clinics conducted by NIMS

Ms Nilanjana Maulik of ARDSI Kolkata spoke next. She has over 14 years experience in training care givers. She described all the activities and objectives of ARDSI. Crating Awareness, Care Giver Training, Conducting Memory Clinics, Producing Info products for wide distribution, conducting Chapter based and National level conferences, Advocacy & lobbying are all part of their services / activities. GOI has accepted their proposal to set up National Institute of Aging & Research. In future they want to establish more chapters and provide Respite Care programs also. The Day Care Center facilities in Head Quarters is appreciated by one and all.

Mr S Dass of Helpage , chief guest for the function, congratulated and thanked NIMS and others for starting this Chapter. He said it is long over due. He extended full support for any activity connected with AD. He has witnessed personally the plight of many AD patiens and their families. His support is available anyone desiring to start AD related services in AP. He formally inaugurated the Chapter by switching on the Lamp. "Behind-the-screen" support extended by Helpage is laudable.

Ms Ansari, Secretary, gave a brief history of the Local chapter. It is an off shoot of Memory Clinics at NIMS, many Awareness Creation Lectures by NIMS staff and other activities during the last two Alzheimer's Day in September. Sh gave an overview on AD in India. I was amused to learn that AD is a highly democratic disease. The composition of membership in the chapter is multi faceted: Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Care Givers, Speech Therapists, Neurologists and Volunteers are all welcome to be members.

Dr Chandrashekar, well known Psychiatrist from Asha Hospital, Vice President of Hyderabad Chapter, proposed a (highly matter of fact) vote of Thanks that I very much forwarded to in all meetings. (Many VOT speakers start giving another lecture!.)

The meeting ended with tea which provided a good venue for interaction. Students, family members of AD patients, representatives from SCAs, supporters from Pharma Industry, members of Helpage, NIMs etc were the participants.

What I liked most about the meeting was the simple, business like manner in which the whole meeting was conducted. This gave everybody a sense of assurance --- here are some people who mean business --there would be suitable follow up activities soon.

The tea time was utilized to enroll members (Annual membership Rs 100/- Life Membership Rs 1000/-). I became a member. My receipt number is 905. This is on the inaugural Day. Isn't that some indication that ARDSI Hyderabad Chapter will do grow fast in terms of membership and services?

Let us all wish them well and participate as volunteers in whatever capacity we can.

Report by Dr P Vyasamoorthy


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Santhiya said...

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