The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS), Ministry of Science and Technology, joined with the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand in organizing an educational activity for the elderly titled “The 10th Creation of Thai society to stay away from Alzheimer's” on Sunday 28 April 2019 at Crystal Ballroom, Tawana Hotel Bangkok.
Dr. Chareeporn Phooma, Director of the Medicopolis & Health Informatics Program of TCELS, said that the TCELS was aware of the importance of reducing inequality in society in accordance with government policy. This training program was designed to provide knowledge to the elderly on how they can take care of themselves to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The TCELS has partnered with the foundation to organize the training for the last 10 years as part of the preparations to address Thailand’s graying society.
This year, the training was conducted by specialists in various fields to provide a broad range of information for the participants. In addition, TCELS and the foundation developed the MEMO GAMING application, which helps the elderly exercise their minds to improve brain health and memory by analyzing shapes and position of images. Lively cartoons ensure the app is easy to understand and the brain exercises easy to follow. It can be downloaded at www.alz.or.th
“In the future, the TCELS will add more knowledge and adopt holistic medical technology to develop services for the elderly. These include the development of tracking device prototype or anti-lost tracker. It is needed because of chances that Alzheimer’s patients can go out when they are lucid, but later they can get confused and might not remember their way back home. In addition, it will be a device doe tracking the patients’ activities, which will assist medical care. In addition, the TECLS will also carry out research on natural extraction technology, and design medical device prototypes to facilitate treatment. The TCELS aims to develop their use for the future enabling the elderly to have better quality of life," said Dr. Chareeporn.
Dr. Yooth Bodharamik, Chairman of the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand, said that the “Creation of Thai society to stay away from Alzheimer's” is one of the preventive measures for the elderly, especially a growing number of those already suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s. The foundation is dedicated to reducing the rate of Alzheimer's patients and improve the quality of life of the elderly. A secondary aim is to alleviate the patients' suffering as a result of the disease and help their carers pass the difficult times.
Assoc. Prof. Nantika Thavichachart, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand, noted that support from both the public and private sectors meant that event could be organized to create awareness about Alzheimer's and encouraged all parties to collaborate in solving the problems. The event provided information and understanding of how to prevent and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's as well as the provision of proper care.
Assoc. Prof. Nantika further explained that the event placed emphasis on the active participation of attendees and that this had inspired the introduction of an “Elderly School”. After the lectures during the morning session, a series of breakout classrooms were organized as follows:
1. The science room provided learning on brain exercises to encourage awareness among the participants, especially the elderly, of how to stay away from Alzheimer's.
2. The physical education room taught exercises to strengthen the body. Participants and again especially the elderly, were encouraged to be aware of the importance of suitable workouts for their age.
3. The educational technology room provided learning on accessibility to technologies such as the use of applications to take photos and retouch them via smartphones and other interesting applications to monitor the social changes and roles of the elderly.
4. The home economics room taught cooking for different life stages to ensure proper nutrition.
5. The health education gave instruction on stress reduction through mind relaxation exercises with age-appropriate music.
6. The music education room explained music therapy and its use in relaxing the mind.
Participants were encouraged to use the tips provided to stay away from Alzheimer’s. The foundation expects that the knowledge they gained from the event would improve their lives. “The foundation is continuing to move forward to help the graying society,” Assoc. Prof. Nantika concluded.