As more and more people are added to the list of being diagnosed by Dementia disorders, September has been dedicated globally as World Alzheimer’s Month. This is specially since World Alzheimer’s Day falls on the 21st of September, which is also happens to be the 2nd Equinox of the Year.
While many lay people consider the different forms of Dementia as age-related illnesses or disorders, lifestyle related changes over the years, has led to more people (often below the age of 60) being found tackling assorted forms of Dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has coined ‘Remember Me’ as the theme for the fifth year that this is being acknowledged. The primary goal for this worldwide organisation has been to spread awareness, so that if diagnosed early, Dementia can be tackled and dealt with, by preventing further degeneration.
As the world unites to create awareness and change against a mental health challenge that is affecting someone every 3 seconds, globally, there is also some heartening news happening simultaneously.
Legendary Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas celebrated his 99th birthday in a remarkably thoughtful way by gifting 15 million dollars to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, to help set up the ‘Kirk Douglas Care Pavillion’ – an Alzheimer’s Care centre in Southern California. His son, actor Michael Douglas was present at the event.
To add to this heartening good news, a 12 year old little girl in USA, Emma Yang, has created the first ever app to help Alzheimer’s patients remember. She designed her app ‘Timeless’ when she found it challenging to comunicate her Hong Kong based grandma, who has Alzheimer’s.
As per news posted about the app on The Good News Network, ‘Timeless’ has lots of unique features, including a facial recognition algorithm that can assign names and relationships to pictures of loved ones; there is a Today section that has the time, date, weather forecast, and events listed in a comprehensive schedule, as well as a notification system that will let patients know if they are trying to call someone that they have already contacted in the last five minutes.
She has been one of the recipients of the ‘Ten Under Twenty’ innovation awards at the 2016 CE Week Conference. She is looking at releasing the app at the end of the year.
As the ADi has been campaigning: Let’s remember those who can’t remember.
NOTE FROM SILVER INNINGS’ SAILESH MISHRA:
Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting up to 90% of people living with dementia. But there are a large number of conditions which cause the symptoms of dementia, as a result of changes that happen in the brain and the ultimate loss of nerve cells (neurons). Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia (including Pick’s disease).
Every person is unique and dementia affects people differently – no two people will have symptoms that develop in exactly the same way. An individual’s personality, general health and social situation are all important factors in determining the impact of dementia on him or her. Symptoms vary between Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, but there are broad similarities between them all. The most common signs are memory loss and the loss of practical abilities, which can lead to withdrawal from work or social activities. If you think that these problems are affecting your daily life, or the life of someone you know, you should talk to your doctor.