Collaboration is the keyword for dementia care

By The IST News Network

Sydney, October 28, 2017:- Collaboration was the word that emerged out of the deliberations and discussions at the launch of the Dementia Support Group for Indian Australians (DSGIA) on October 27, 2017 at the Indian Cultural Centre, Consulate General of India, Sydney. The response was overwhelming and the room was packed to capacity. The event was supported by Federation of Indian Associations of New South Wales (FIAN).

The DGSIA president Ms. Anju Kalra gave an elaborate presentation on dementia and Dr. Yadu Singh, a Sydney cardiologist and President of FIAN moderated the event while narrating experiences from his personal life. Speaker after speaker stressed just one point that dementia needs to be understood and in order to reduce the impact of illness, collaboration is required. It is important to find out about the information and services option available for effective dementia care.

The DGSIA is the dream project of Ms. Kalra.  The Consul General Mr. B. Vanlalvawna also related an incident from his personal life and said even his father was suffering from Dementia but that time he did not know about it. Now, of course the awareness is spreading and more and more people know about it.

Dementia is a term; she and other speakers after her said, used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broader term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and what would be considered normal emotional reactions. There is a significant gap between knowledge and awareness. Dementia has no cure but awareness can help reduce the scale of the problem. First learn to identify the symptoms then consult a medical specialist.

The Hon. David Clarke, MLC in NSW Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice was optimistic in announcing that in four or five years we could find a cure for dementia. A number of Federal and NSW politicians or their relatives in the past have suffered from dementia or died of the disease.

Ms Mary Karras, CEO Ethnic Communities ‘Council NSW said language is another issue in the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities and especially among the Indian Australians. Community radios can play an important role in spreading the message.  As a first step the carers and family members must learn to recognise the symptoms and consult the GP who will then arrange to a referral to specialist.

There’s a need for community groups and individuals as well as the family members to collaborate with each other in order to spread awareness about the disease and we could overcome the stigma. We need more”we speak your language” facilities in the dementia care centres. Among others who gave their invaluable contribution on the issue were Ms. Susan McCarthy of The Dementia Australia, Ms Cecilia Milani,of PICAC, Ms Mary Karras, CEO Ethnic Communities Council, NSW, Dr. Manish Bhutada.

Dr. Bhutada stressed the importance of Oral Health in any medical condition. Often, this aspect is ignored causing delay in treatments, he said

Also present were Mrs. Reena Jethi, Hills Shire Council Councillor, Mr. Abbas Raza Alvi, Mr. Jay Raman, Ms. Harinder Kaur, Dr. Nihal Agar of Hindu Council of Australia, Ms Terrie Leoleos, Rob Critchlow- Superintendent, The Hills Local Command Area, Sanjeev Bhakri, Ms. Shubha Kumar , Aksheya Kumar, Rekha Rajvanshi, Narinder Parmar, Vipul Goyal and all media partners: The Indian Telegraph, Indian Subcontinent Times and Desi Australia, Radio Darpan, Pradeep Kumar Ji.

Ms. Kalra humbly thanked C-G, Mr B.Vanlalvawna, FIAN President Dr Yadu Singh for their invaluable support for the Dementia Forum. And, a big thank you to our distinguished VIP guests: The Hon. David Clarke, Member of the Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Prof Nihal Agar- Chairman, Hindu Council of Australia, Mrs Reena Jethi, Councillor, Hills Shire Council, Ms Mary Karras, CEO Ethnic Communities’Council NSW, Dr Yadu Singh, Mr Abbas Alvi,Mr Jay Raman, Mr Zahid Jamil, Mrs Harinder Kaur, Dr Manish Bhutada, Ms Cecilia Milani, Ms Susan McCarthy, Ms Terrie Leoleos, Rob Critchlow- Superintendent, The Hills Local Command Area, Sanjeev Bhakri, Shubha Kumar , Aksheya Kumar, Rekha Rajvanshi, Narinder Parmar, Vipul Goyal and all media partners: The Indian Telegraph, Indian Subcontinent Times, The Indian Link, Indus Age, Ever Green Memories, Desi Australia, Friends World TV, Radio Darpan- Pradeepji , Radio Sur Sangam- Nitin Madan ; ABC Print Shop, Expansion Technologies, Knowledge Partner Professionals and all my dear community members for making the Dementia forum a huge success, feeling humbled 🙏Thank you once again to everyone and Thank you to FIAN and Dr Yadu Sing



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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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