Like every other disease, early diagnosis makes it easier to treat Alzheimer's. It is a disease mainly of forgetfulness, which takes an alarming proportion up to the level of forgetting everything, including recognising family and friends.
The Sultanate of Oman marked World Alzheimer's Month along with other nations and threw light on the seriousness of the disease and precautions that can help prevent or minimise its impact.
To mark the conclusion of World Alzheimer's Month, the Oman Alzheimer's Society hosted an event involving doctors and caregivers at City Seasons Hotel.
An interactive session titled 'Know Alzheimer's, Know Dementia' threw light on memory factors in day-to-day life. The event was supported by Apollo Hospitals Muscat and powered by Oman Observer's Podcast GreenMent.
The event presenter began the event with a short documentary titled 'Memories are not Forever'.
The Chairman of Oman Alzheimer's Society, Dr Hamed al Sinawi, provided an insight on various symptoms that could be considered early signs of Alzheimer's, ranging from misplacing keys to having problems communicating. He pointed out that invariably the family members detect the early signs.
"Early diagnosis makes it easier," said Dr Al Sinawi.
The event was attended by the family members of Alzheimer's patients who are also caregivers.
Dr Al Sinawi also highlighted the difficulties caregivers face and the support they require and accordingly proposed the concept of an Alzheimer's cafe for the caregivers to meet every month for mutual support and knowledge sharing.
Dr Ummar Khurshid, Internal Medicine Specialist, Apollo Super Speciality, explained the medical conditions of Alzheimer's patients and said, "What Alzheimer's patients need the most is compassion."
Rajyalakshmi Saranathan, a senior citizen who promotes a healthy life style and promotes the intake of food for the benefit of Health, said, "Age is just a number; what is important is to see the sunrise and sunset daily so that you practice early to bed, early to rise. Alzheimer's is a Disorder, and we come across many disorders in life; what is also important is acceptance."
The children and spouses of Alzheimer's patients, as well as patients, talked about their own experiences as caregivers. The doctors also answered various queries from the attendees.
Dr Al Sinawi said the children often find a reversal of roles while taking care of their parents. And the most difficult part is losing loved ones even when they are next to them, as Alzheimer's patients, in some cases, forget the family members.