Considered a disease that mainly affects the elderly, Alzheimer’s is a silent disease that attacks slowly, causing the degeneration of the nervous system, causing progressive changes in the quality of memory, behavior and functionality of the brain.
If it appears more frequently with aging, it does not cease to be related to the behavior of a lifetime. According to the neurologist Rodrigo Rizek Schultz, Alzheimer’s may be associated with certain risk factors that appear early and develop, such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, as well as sociocultural factors such as low schooling or social and manifestations of depressive attitude. The World Health Organization indicates that in 9% of the diagnosed cases, the symptoms appear before the 65 years of age.
Every year we should hear more about this evil, since in different countries and in different regions of the world the populations have aged. In Brazil, for example, it is estimated that the elderly population in 2050 is three times larger than the current population. This will require governments and civil society, as well as the Third Sector and Non-Governmental Organizations, to coordinate bold initiatives in dealing with an evil that does not choose identity, ethnicity, sex or social and economic status.
Despite this scenario, experts say it is possible to take measures in an attempt to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or at least improve the quality of life of those who developed the disease. Among the measures pointed out are activities that require and stimulate brain functioning, such as wordplay, crossword puzzles, puzzle-making, or simply taking a family photo album and recognizing the people portrayed, read a book or watch movies and series. These exercises act directly on certain areas of the brain, requiring the area of the nervous system involved to be activated, creating new connections and renewing existing ones.
In addition, practicing physical activity, cultivating good nutrition, accompanied by a nutritionist, seeking the balance of nutritional deficiencies common at this stage of life are aids that raise the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer’s.
From the experience with her own mother, Sílvia Renata Sommerlath, or more appropriately Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, was in Brazil sharing her personal and social experience, since in 1995 she created a non-profit foundation, Stiftelsen Silviahemmet, a center of excellence in the field of dementia care and education that assists and empowers people involved in the care of Alzheimer’s patients.
In Brazil, for more than 150 years, the German Beneficent Society (SBA) has been working alongside the large community of German immigrants who came to the country in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century and settled, especially in the south and in the southeast Brazil. In the city of São Paulo, the SBA has a residential for the elderly and follows the recommendations and concepts of the Silviahemmet Foundation.
With the support of Nestlé Health Science, the company’s clinical nutrition division, the Dementia in Focus Symposium was held on November 8, 2018, in São Paulo, with the promotion of the SBA itself and the participation of Queen Silvia. important names of the health sector.
The event was organized around specific themes that require attention and preparation of the caregivers and the involvement of the relatives of the Alzheimer patient. Among the topics we highlight are patient care in supplementary health, the importance of specific public policies for patients already diagnosed, the question and the challenges of longevity with the disease, social awareness campaigns in the main metropolitan centers and how these centers have been prepared to meet their elderly, legal issues that gravitate the issue, respect for the dignity and citizenship of the elderly with Alzheimer’s, the promotion of discussion forums on the need for greater and better knowledge about the condition of the patient in order to lead society to the understanding that one can not stigmatize people with dementia, among others.
Having been held in the premises of the Tivoli Mofarrej Hotel, located in the Cerqueira Cesar neighborhood, a noble region of the city of São Paulo, was attended by Mr. Per-Arne Hjelmborn, Ambassador of Sweden, Rosa Maria Bruno, of the São Paulo, Dr. Alexandre Kalache, aging doctor and president of the International Longevity Center Brazil (CILB), Dr. Rodrigo Schultz, neurologist, president of the Brazilian Alzheimer’s Association (ABRAZ) and coordinator of the Severe Dementia Outpatient Neurology of the Behavior of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) among other personalities.
After the event, Queen Silvia inaugurated a care center for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, called the House of Memory Rehab, at the SBA’s seniors’ home.
The Seminar’s initiative was aimed at making society aware of the importance of public and private investment in specific strategies to improve care for the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease. Only after major investments can we expect a decrease in the speed with which the disease progresses, giving older people greater independence and mobility in their routine activities, which will translate into a higher quality of life for them and their families.
EstoTV was present and brings you the coverage of the Seminar, led by Diana Dahre. Check out!