“Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen.”

Jarod Kintz

They were once the backbone of your family, robust in their built and commitments on whom you could depend. They were the caregivers and bread-earners. But suddenly, you noticed slips in their work-pattern and behavior. It all starts with losing small things like the keys or spectacles and searching it all over the house without finding it. Slowly this pattern becomes more frequent till the more incredible things and part of daily chores are forgotten.

Yes! The discussion is about your elderly family members being stuck with dementia. The symptom becomes so acute that one may forget their own identity, name, and slip the regular chores like eating and bathing if not assisted properly. The disease has another name – the Alzheimer’s. So severe is the cause and the necessity to spread the awareness that from 2012 onwards, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) observes September 21st each year as World Alzheimer’s Day. This is to apply caution to the caregivers and other people about a disease that slowly robs the normal functioning of the person and impairs the brain to a large extent.

According to the Report of ADI, in India alone, there are around four million people affected each year due to Alzheimer’s, and forty-four million people worldwide suffer dementia each year. This statistic is about reported incidents, but in many underdeveloped countries, the patient is never exposed to Alzheimer’s treatment and wait for his turn for death. Usually, a person who has dementia survives a maximum of eight years after the disease’s onset. The disease destroys the function of the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for learning, information generation and retrieval, and the normal functioning of the whole body. By destroying the brain’s functions, it robs the person of his behavior and tasks for everyday life.

At the time, you may feel helpless because there is no complete cure that has come out yet. But kindly extend your care and keep your calm in the testing times. When your parent or grand-parent, uncle, or aunt is the victim, please remember that they had been the rock-stone pillars of your family once. Treat them as you would do your infant. After all, the essence of a family lies in care and support. God forbid, no one knows if you would ever have to step in their shoes. So, create an example by caring now!

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