Ninety-four-year-old Radha (name changed) was unable to walk, eat and speak when she was brought to the Alzheimer’s Care and Support Centre at Kayalam in Peruvayal. Centre functionaries say that the Alzheimer’s patient even failed to identify her relatives during routine visits to the centre.
The case of 100-year-old Mohammed from Malappuram was not much different. The centenarian was bedridden when he was brought to the centre with various ailments owing to the disease.
Both of them are now regaining normalcy as they are extended treatment from the centre. They, along with several others, testify how the centre is scripting a success story of service in treating the cases with Alzheimer’s and other ailments related to old age.
Started in 2014, the centre is, in its second year, looking to extending service to more beneficiaries and paying more attention to upgrading the present facilities. The centre is now offering various services, including treating the bedridden patients, along with disseminating palliative care, providing training to the relatives of the patients and holding counselling. Besides, a memory clinic is functioning, in addition to the group meeting of the beneficiaries, meant to retain the memory power of the patients.
“As there is no effective medication to treat the disease, we mainly depend on non-pharmacological intervention to treat the patients with Alzheimer’s. The mode of treatment combats the onset of memory loss and dementia and helps to retain the memory by making the brain cells active,” says programme officer P Satheesh Kumar.
According to him, the result is clear in the patients as most of them have come back to normal life with continuous treatment, which may last several months.
While treating the patients, the centre gives prime priority to providing awareness to the relatives and family members of the persons with such ailments. “When it comes to awareness, majority of the public lack the basic understanding of the ailment. Owing to this, the severity of the disease increases as the primary care providers, the relatives or family members, fail to handle the patients,” adds Satheesh Kumar.
“The relatives are even reluctant to ensure diagnosis for the patients as they are caught with the social stigma about the disease. We are taking all possible efforts to bring about a change in the present scenario,” he says. Taking note of the situation, the centre is presently organising systematic training camps. The camps have borne fruit as the relatives are increasingly drawn towards the voluntary works being carried out by the centre. The centre has its office functioning at Civil Station and 24-hour services are available with the helpline at 9446695744 and 9656508877.