Demystifying Alzheimers Disease

Event Date May 28, 2021 to May 28, 2021 in events

Demystifying Alzheimers Disease

In Kenya, communities traditionally provide care for their aging parents, including those suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia. However, at the community level, the distinction between normal aging and dementia is often unclear. Recognizing this gap, the Daystar Institute of Disability Studies (DIDS) saw the necessity to raise awareness through a virtual workshop on Alzheimer's and Dementia.

One such impactful event took place on May 28th, 2021, titled "Demystifying Alzheimer’s and Dementia Disease Virtual Workshop." Participants engaged in enlightening discussions and shared experiences that contributed to a deeper understanding of these conditions.

Prof. Anne Kubai from Södertörn University, Sweden, provided insights into the global perspective of Alzheimer's disease, setting the stage for the discussions. Dr. Ngege, a neurologist, delivered an informative session on the neurological aspects of Alzheimer's and its progression. Ms. Mary Wanjohi shared her personal journey and experiences in caring for her father, shedding light on the challenges faced by caregivers.

Other experts, including Dr. Juzar Hooker from the Alzheimer's & Dementia Organization Kenya (ADOK), emphasized the importance of raising awareness, Caring for people with Alzheimers, shared knowledge and challenges on providing support to those affected by Alzheimer's. Elizabeth Mutunga, Founder of Alzheimer's & Dementia Org. Kenya, shared her firsthand experiences in caring for individuals with Alzheimer's at home, drawing from her own family experiences.

Dr. David Bukusi addressed the participants on the state of Alzheimer’s and Dementia in Kenya's devolved healthcare system, highlighting the need for improved mental health services. Prof Alice Munene Dean School of Psychology shared on desired action of psychologists for care of the carers’ mental health emphasized the crucial role of counselors and psychologists in supporting caregivers and managing the psychological impact of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's and Dementia. Kimani Githongo, Director of the Counselors and Psychologists Society of Kenya (CPS-K), resolved to sensitize members of professional bodies on the care of carer’s.

Observations revealed a significant misconception where individuals with Alzheimer's and Dementia are often considered simply aged by their families, despite the need for specialized care. The workshop highlighted the necessity for increased awareness and education to address this disabling health condition effectively. The workshop with a clear expression of need for trained carers and Care homes.

DIDS has taken up the challenge by offering short-term courses and training for professional caregivers at the home level, supplementing the healthcare system's support. The workshop concluded with a call to action, emphasizing the collective effort needed to address the challenges posed by Alzheimer's and Dementia. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by these conditions.