Half a million dementia patients in SL by 2050 – LAF

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Sri Lanka will have an estimated half a million people suffering from dementia by 2050 as the country has the fastest ageing population in the region, a spokesman for the Lanka Alzheimer’s Foundation (LAF) noted. 

A spokesman for the Foundation said on Friday (2), that the risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia increases with age. Evidence was emerging that Covid-19 may increase the risk of developing dementia later in life.

September is marked globally as World Alzheimer’s Month and 21 September as World Alzheimer’s Day.

LAF, a member of the global association, Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI), is focused on post-diagnosis support for those living with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias and to enhance the wellbeing of their family care givers.

The LAF has organised a virtual walk from 1 to 21 September to encourage physical and mental exercise, one of the key factors in helping to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, while educating participants about the disease. Details are available on their website https://alzlanka.org/together-we-can-do-so-much/, the spokesman said.

The service provided by LAF, which is run mainly by volunteers with donations from well-wishers, includes: raising awareness, providing education on risk reduction, memory screening and assessment, an activity centre, caregiver support groups, a helpline, identification bracelets, befriending and counselling and much more to help persons living with dementia and their care givers.

“Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s” – armed with the power of knowledge, all of us together with LAF can do so much to spot the warning signs of dementia, ensure timely diagnosis, and provide post-diagnosis support for people living with dementia,” the spokesman noted adding that contrary to common belief Alzheimer’s was not a normal part of ageing. It was a disease, for which currently there was no cure but steps can be taken to reduce chances of developing dementia and slowing the onset or progression of the disease.

 (DJ)