90pc of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women

Muscat:  Ninety per cent of caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients in the Sultanate are women, either a wife or a daughter, Dr Hamad al Sinawi, Chairman of Oman Alzheimer’s Society (OAS), said, citing a study. Citing another study, Dr Al Sinawi, a psychiatrist specialising in Alzheimer’s, said 60 per cent of caregivers are women. “One of the key challenges for caregivers is to look after Alzheimer’s patients like how kids are cared for. Children grow to become independent, but Alzheimer’s patients will become more and more dependent.”
September is an important month in spreading awareness on a health condition drawing global attention. World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign launched by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) in 2012. World Alzheimer’s Day is observed on September 21 every year.
This year’s theme is, ‘Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia’.
Dr Al Sinawi said, “Imagine if you wake up one day and find that you do not know how to brush your teeth, wash your face, change your clothes or fail to recognise the people you live with — your spouse, children and grandchildren. This is the experience of people with Alzheimer’s.”
But not all is doom and gloom. Some people become closer to the person. It gives them an opportunity to give back to the loved ones.
To throw more light on understanding the condition and provide the best care, a panel discussion with caregivers will be held on September 23 as part of Third National Symposium to be held at Muscat Holiday Hotel.

A play on Alzheimer’s will also be staged on the day. Events have been held in many parts of the country to mark the Alzheimer’s month.
While events have been held in Nizwa and Sur, Khasab will organise an awareness event at Lulu Centre on September 13, 4-6 pm, Salalah Gardens on September 14, 6-9 pm, and Suhar Safeer Mall on September 20, 6-8 pm.
In a documentary titled ‘Every 3 Seconds’, produced by ADI, Chief Executive Paola Barbarino says only 30 governments out of the 194 World Health Organization (WHO) member-states have so far developed a plan on dementia.
According to Barbarino, governments should act now. “Investment in dementia research is crucial. In the absence of a disease modifying treatment, there must be a strong focus on care research to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia,” Barbarino has said in the documentary. ADI works to empower national Alzheimer’s associations to offer support to people with dementia and their care partners.

Lakshmi Kothaneth