AASHA stresses the need for proactive awareness about dementia

The IST Newsdesk

AASHA team members

Ageing is a way of life but comes with a bundle of associated problems. Families need to understand and not shy away from this process.

AASHA at its event ‘Eight to Eighties—Uniting Generations organized at Pennat Hills Community Centre on 5 Nov, 2016, stressed upon the need to create proactive awareness about Dementia, the most common problem among the aged.

Aasha Australia Foundation is an initiative by group of persons of Indian origin, to fulfill urgent growing needs of care of increasing population of senior persons of Indian and South Asian Sub continent.

It is important to create awareness of the services and sources available to meet with their needs and in particular to ensure all such Aged Care services provided to them meet with Cultural demands, specific to such persons. It is also intended to coordinate with Government agencies and other Service providers to facilitate Aged Care with Cultural focus.

Dr.Pradnya Duggal

AASHA founder Bijinder Duggal  along with Anurag welcomed the guests  and took the audience to AASHA journey it has covered so far in the last one year or so and establishment of the group.

Mr. Anurag of the AASHA Foundation, exhorted the audience that we need to change the culture around the topic of Dementia and make it easy for our aging seniors to talk about it proactively. Among the problems being faced by the aging community are the social stigma about mental health, lack of awareness, social inclusion and busy schedule of family members.

Susan McCarthy from Alzheimer’s Australia, delved on the topic of Alzheimer as a precursor to Dementia that usually starts in the age of 40s or 50s. It has also been termed as a progressive form of presenile dementia. The first symptoms are impaired memory, followed by impaired thoughts and speech.

Cecila Milani of the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) gave an overview of aged care in Australia and the problems faced by the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. For the benefit of the audience, she informed about the facilities available like My Aged Care, online info is available and National Aged Care.

Dr. Perminder Sachdev, Clinical Director of the NPI at Prince of Wales Hospital gave a presentation about creating awareness about dementia in our community. He stressed upon the need of indulging in activity, exercising in order to overcome the disease of dementia.

At the event, a prominent senior of the community, Mrs. Vimla Luthra, launched AASHA website www.aashaustralia.org.au amid a thunderous applause by about 200 guests.

AHIA Senior women performing Gidda

Team AASHA also celebrated NSW Grandparents day and on this occasion Dr. Pradnya Duggal, a Radiologist and Director of Monsuun dance group, gave two performances of classical dance and Bollywood medley song/dance. This was followed by a Punjabi dance ‘Gidda” by community senior women from AHIA. Sydney popular singer Vinod Rajput presented a group song along with Team Asha.

Among the guests were Dr. Hugh McDermott MP Prospect, Daniel Mookhey MLC Blacktown, Gurdeep Singh, Councilor Hornsby and a few community leaders. Mr Gurdeep Singh in a special message said,” I congratulate AASHA for making a concerted effort to raise awareness of the issues of aging and care for the elderly. In this day and age of almost instant communication, the message for compassion and care is being lost, sadly. AASHA is trying to pick up that message and transmit it across the community. Well-done.”

All MPs and MLCs wished the foundation well and encouraged them to carry forward the message of awareness.

Cheryl Khurana and Rekha Rajvanshi superbly emceed the event with sprinkling of some Hindi poetry and valuable experiences in life, even as the foundation honoured some of its functionaries for their contribution.


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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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