By Ikenna Osuoha
Pastor Victoria Onu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Grace Nursing Care Centre (GNCC) on Sunday called for stronger collaboration to reduce Alzheimer’s among older persons.
Onu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that there was need for a synergy among state and non-state actors to address the onslaughts of Alzheimer’s on older persons.
She described Alzheimer’s as a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function.
It is not reversible for now, as no cure has been found, while dementia is a broader term that includes numerous forms of memory loss and is sometimes curable.
“Dementia is the term applied to a group of symptoms that negatively impact memory, while Alzheimer’s is the disease of the brain that is progressive and this disease can affect anyone – it has no economic, social, racial or national barriers.”
” There are many types of Dementia, such as Alzhiemer’s disease, Multi-infarct dementia, or Parkinson’s disease. Many dementia are treatable and reversible but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of untreatable irreversible dementia.,” she said.
Onu, who is also the Secretary General, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), noted that a number of lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s could be modified.
“Evidence suggests that changes in diet, exercise and sleep habits, steps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease may also lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that cause dementia.”
She explained that Heart-healthy lifestyle choices that might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s were regular exercises and eating right.
“Healthy oils and foods low in saturated fat to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
“Asking your doctor for help to quit smoking if you smoke, participating in social events, reading, dancing, playing board games, creating art, playing an instrument, and other activities that require mental and social engagement.”
Onu however assured of her care centre’s capacity to take care of people in the last stage of Alzheimer’s.
“GNCC is specially designed to take care of people in the last stage of Alzheimer’s disease. And we are recognised by World Alziemers Report 2020.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that affects a person’s ability to function independently. (NAN)