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As per global estimates, the yearly cost of dementia is $820 billion which is equivalent to an amount that surpasses 1% of the global GDP. PIxabay

With the aging global population, reports suggest that there will be a hike in the number of dementia sufferers and that it will almost triple from 50 million to 155 million within 2050. The Director General of WHO (World Health Organization), Dr. Tedros Adhanom said that nearly 15 million individuals are attacked by this neurodegenerative disease every year and 6 million are attacked in the low-middle income nations. The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous and this is rather an alarm call to which experts should pay more attention. Along with this soaring challenge, the medical health professionals have to make sure that all people who live with dementia receive the apt level of care that they need.

As per global estimates, the yearly cost of dementia is $820 billion which is equivalent to an amount that surpasses 1% of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The entire cost includes social and informal care, direct medical costs and the loss of income of the caregivers. By the year 2030, this total cost is anticipated to become more than double and will reach $2 trillion. This is indeed enormous and it is more than enough to undermine and slog down the economic and social development of the nations along with the long-term health care systems.

Launch of the first-ever global monitoring system

If you hadn’t heard of the web-based platform that was launched by WHO, it is the Global Dementia Observatory with noble goals of tracking the progress on provisions of various services that are offered to people suffering with dementia and for all those who provide caregiving, both within the nation and throughout the world. Just as there are Australian home care services running in Australia, similarly there are such services being offered in all the countries where dementia is spreading like an epidemic. This observatory platform will supervise the presence of plans and national policy, the infrastructure that is required for offering treatment and care and measures for reducing risk among patients. It also includes details on the surveillance system and data on the soaring burden of the disease.

With the aging global population, reports suggest that there will be a hike in the number of dementia sufferers and that it will almost triple. Pixabay

This is probably the first-ever global monitoring system for this neurodegenerative disorder which includes a wide variety of data, according to WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Dr. Tarun Dua. Through this system, we can not only track the progress but also identify each of those areas which require efforts to improve.

A well-executed plan for dementia and support for caregivers

Till date, the World Health Organization has gathered data from 21 countries which belong to different kinds of income levels and by the time its 2050, it is predicted that 50 nations will be contributing to this data. The current results imply that a large number of countries are already exercising action in various areas like spreading dementia awareness, planning dementia reduction and improving a dementia-friendly environment. They are also working on provision of more support and training for the caregivers (who are mostly unprofessional and who are family members).

Among the several countries which have reported data so far:

  • 85% have conducted a dementia awareness program or a campaign which only dealt with reduction of risk
  • 73% offer training and support for the caregivers, the unprofessional family members
  • 72% have a well-set plan for fighting dementia
  • 68% have adapted a dementia-friendly initiative

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The aforementioned sets of activities have all been decided by WHO in their Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025. This plan offers a blueprint for the nations to take action in different areas like ensuring a dementia-friendly environment, spreading awareness of the disease, diminishing the risk of diagnosis of dementia, innovation and research, care and treatment and required support for the dementia caregivers. This plan suggests the solid actions that the policy makers, social and health care providers can take. This particular plan has been developed to respect the human rights of the people suffering from dementia. The targets and the progress of the plan can be easily measured.

Research and diagnosis needs constant effort

Just 15% of the countries that have already reported their data could imply the total number of people who are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. There were many previous studies which suggest that more than 90% of the people suffering from dementia are not aware of their sufferings. At the same time, there have been some motivating signs of financing for investment in the field of research for dementia cure in recent years. Nevertheless, there is a lot that has to be done.

It is rather more surprising to see that the total number of articles in journals on dementia by 2018 was around 7000. If you compare this against articles on diabetes or cancer, you’ll find 15,000 and 99,000 respectively during the same year. Hence this proves that there is enough research needed to plan a cure for dementia, how to reduce the risk, how to improve areas and how to diagnose the disease and treat it accordingly.

The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous. Pixabay

The web-based observatory platform will also offer a knowledge bank where social and health care authorities like the researchers, medical professionals and civil society organizations will find the regional and national profiles on dementia, guidance policies, global reports and toolkits and guidelines on dementia care and prevention.

An attempt to diminish the number of falls among people with dementia

With the rise in the number of falls among dementia patients which is spurring the disability rate among dementia patients, there is an exercise program and home safety program which has been created to prevent so many falls within a community setting. However, it is sad enough to note that as per preliminary studies it was seen that this community program couldn’t create any difference in the rate of falls. This was the iFocus Trial at an Occupational Therapy Conference located in Sydney and Prof. Lindy Clemson discussed few of the initial results of this 4-year trial program.

There is no doubt about the fact that falls are one of the biggest issues of concern among people suffering from dementia as against those who haven’t gone through any cognitive decline. In fact, the yearly incidence of falls for dementia sufferers is as high as 80% and there are also too many who have had a fractured hand or leg due to falls due to dementia. 28% of the admissions to nursing homes for people suffering from dementia are related to falls and resulting injuries.

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The medical health analysts and experts are still thinking of establishing an efficient strategy so that they could bring about a reduction in the instance of falls among dementia sufferers. Research reveals that continuing with research programs could help in avoiding falls among the senior population. In the Australian National Conference, Prof. Lindy Clemson spoke of rehabilitation of older people so that in home dementia care Brisbane services don’t get too necessary. There is also another current study which is done to make sure whether such a similar intervention could work for people suffering from memory issues and dementia.

Working along with caregivers

Their trial included 310 people who had varying degrees of dementia (at different stages) who were all segregated into 2 groups, among which 1 undergone an intervention which focused on home exercise and safety. This group also got around 11 home visits by an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who even worked with the caregivers who were in need of professional guidance and education.

However, despite having such high hopes on this program, as per what data suggests, even after 12 months, the program didn’t prevent too many falls, as was expected. Hence, it was proved that the program turned out to be ineffective. It was immensely disappointing to notice that there weren’t any difference in the rate of falls even after all the efforts that they put in to create this helpful intervention. Physical activity also didn’t seem to prevent falls and so the intervention made no noteworthy difference to the burden of care.

Professor Clemson said that she noticed that people really preferred the intervention that they had planned, dementia sufferers were happy about the therapist coming to their home but unfortunately it didn’t make any huge difference. She also added that in spite of the disappointing results, it is vital to comprehend what actually happened and what implications can be remembered for future research into fall prevention.

She pointed out several risk factors which are related to dementia, among which some were reaction time being too slow, reduced chances of mobility or polypharmacy which might have reduced the intensity of the consequences of this program. The dosage of exercise may have been too low. There are still many researchers who are trying their best to skim data so that they could improve the results of this program. Many more conferences are being held in order to improve dementia care and reduce falls.

Dementia awareness programs in eclectic Australia – The Moving Pictures Project

The population in Australia is gradually growing diverse and it is even getting older with time. 1 among 3 Australians is being seen to come with a migrant background where they’re linguistically and also culturally diverse, as per reports from Professor Bianca Brijnath of National Ageing Research Institute. Australia being a multi-cultural country and that the population is ageing, there are two things that are happening right now.

With the aging Australian population, dementia rates are automatically on the rise which had led to the analysts being concerned about whether or not there is enough capacity in the healthcare system to meet the needs and requirements of dementia patients. However, if you take into account the individual level, one of the most important concerns is to identify or diagnose the disease as soon as possible.

Is dementia being diagnosed on time?

It is very important that dementia is diagnosed on time as their communities and families can get enough time to plan and think of the kind of care that the patient needs. What sort of interventions can work for them and what kind of assistance do they need in order to keep up with their race against time? While it is true that recognising the initial signs and symptoms can be challenging for the doctor and the patient but it is also true that there are added obstacles to the diagnosis of dementia in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) groups. The signs are not always seen as a mental disorder and hence this leads to delayed identification of the disease.

How the Moving Pictures Project came in?

While Professor Brijnath approached the issue of spreading awareness of such mental health disorders like dementia among the CALD communities, her team on the project called Moving Pictures determined to leverage digital and film media for the ease of communication and immediacy. This project let go of several impediments associated with literacy and hence they didn’t require thinking of whether people knew English or understood it or could write the language.

They went through a study all over the nation to amalgamate data from each communities about the kind of data that would be helpful. They even had a discussion with the front-end service providers like the GPs who were a vital and inseparable part of the Moving Pictures project. GPs played a crucial role in the CALD communities. He also thought that GPs are the lighthouse whenever people navigate through dementia and try to understand the behaviors linked with it.

Among the CALD communities, there is a belief that dementia care should occur by someone from the family. However, it can get to a point where caregivers can badly need external help just to ensure that the burden is a bit lighter on them. Whether the person is being cleaned everyday or there’s someone who is taking him for coffee once in a week or the caregiver is receiving a cup of tea on time, all things need to be ensured.

The team from Moving Pictures is pleased to find the awesome results of the project and they hope that the CALD groups in Australia will now be able to fight back dementia.



The new master plan extends from the Ring Road

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is setting up industrial corridors along both sides of Lucknow-Faizabad-Gorakhpur four-lane national highway within the 65 km periphery of the Ayodhya Development Authority's (ADA) jurisdiction.

The industry hub, spread over 100 acres, will form part of Ayodhya Master Plan-2031 that is being prepared by the ADA.

According to ADA Vice Chairman Vishal Singh, the master plan is expected to be finalised next month and will be sent for state government's approval.

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The weather department has warned of more rains issuing a red alert

The Singara or Beautiful Chennai turned into Venice with roads waterlogged and several homes getting inundated owing to the heavy rains that poured throughout Friday night and Saturday morning.

The rains and the subsequent inundation have put normal lives out of gear in the city.

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The weather department has warned of more rains issuing a red alert for several districts including Chennai, one of the smart cities.

More than 20 districts in Tamil Nadu experienced continuous rains.

The government has declared a holiday for educational institutions in 23 districts on Saturday.

Several localities in Chennai went under water and subways have been closed for traffic due to flooding.

Traffic has been diverted in several places due to waterlogged roads.

With increased water inflow, the shutters of the Chembarambakkam lake were raised to let out surplus water.

In the districts, several acres of paddy fields went under water damaging the crops.

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Gods and Ends takes up multiple threads of individual stories to create a larger picture of darkness

Nothing like being curled up on a winter evening with a warm cup of coffee and good read. While there are many books to pick from here's a list of the latest offerings across publication houses.

Gods and Ends by Lindsay Pereira

Gods and Ends by Lindsay Pereira is in the JCB Prize for literature 2021 shortlist. An intriguing debut with Lindsay's biting sense of humour and quirky voice. Part of the attraction lies in its unconventional form and structure. Philomena Sequeira knows what she wants by the time she turns fourteen. Her father wants something else. Life is unyielding for the tenants of the rundown Obrigado Mansion in Orlem, a Roman Catholic parish in suburban Bombay. They grapple with love, loss and sin, surrounded by abused wives and repressed widows, alcoholic husbands and dubious evangelists, angry teenagers and ambivalent priests, all struggling to make sense of circumstances they have no control over.

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Gods and Ends takes up multiple threads of individual stories to create a larger picture of darkness beneath a seemingly placid surface. It is about intersecting lives struggling to accept change as homes turn into prisons. This is a book about invisible people in a city of millions, and the claustrophobia they rarely manage to escape from.

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Pride, Prejudice And Punditry: The Essential Shashi Tharoor

There are ten sections in the book, each devoted to a particular topic. 'In the Company of Giants' looks at some of the most important figures of modern Indian history; 'Into the Maelstrom of Indian Politics' contains work on the Indian political scene; 'Our Unruly World' covers international relations and diplomacy; 'The Hindu Way' examines various aspects of the faith; 'Musings of a Cricket Tragic' includes some of his finest writing on the sport; 'You Cannot Be Serious!' is a light-hearted take on sundry matters; 'Fragments of an Autobiography' has poignant essays about his parents and an evocative look at his Kerala heritage; 'The Spoken Word' is a selection of his most famous speeches; 'The Writerly Life' comprises ruminations on writing and writers; and 'Selected Fiction and Poetry' showcases his masterpieces of fiction and poetry.

This book will give those new to the author's work a panoramic view of the range and depth of his writing. Long-time fans will find fresh material to delight them as also ageless pieces that continue to enchant. Dazzling, inventive, and exuberant, Pride, Prejudice, and Punditry present readers with the essential work of a literary genius.

Publisher: Aleph Book Company

Pivots For Career Success: Unleashing People Power By R. Gopalakrishnan And R. Srinivasan

People relations are the agate mortar on which the pestle of management excellence is ground. There is a liquid part and a solid part in converting metal into gold in alchemy. In management, the solid is the body of explicit knowledge and techniques taught in programs and institutes, while the liquid is about excelling in human relationships.

R. Gopalakrishnan and R. Srinivasan, blood brothers some six years apart, have real experience of what it takes to clamber up the slippery grease poles of corporate careers, having risen in their companies to the CXO suite. Together, this experience represents a cauldron of valuable lessons of experience. In the process, they have developed a distinctive view of business careers and leadership.

In Pivots for Career Success, Gopal and Srini bring together a subaltern view of the subject as also a high-level view from the hot, dusty environment of markets and factories to the dizzying heights of well-carpeted board rooms. They have written separately and independently based on their distinctive experiences but argued and shared thoughts frequently over lively conversations.

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Bound by Love by Nityanand Charan Das

Love is the most mystical feeling. "It makes us laugh, it makes us cry. It showers with nectar, the heart that is dry." And this feeling finds its culmination in the loving yet the esoteric bond between the Supreme Lord and His devotees.

'Bound by Love' explores that bond and takes us through a plethora of emotions. There is love, adventure, drama, suspense, a test of faith, surrender and much more! Above all, it makes us realise the enchanting sweetness of the Supreme, in a world where most people are only enamoured by or aware of His greatness. There are inspiring, true stories of hope, both contemporary and ancient, which more than being just entertaining, will provide solace to our suffering hearts, especially in these troubled times. No matter who we are, at every moment, we are being tested even if we are on a divine path. Sometimes we pass and sometimes we fail, losing ourselves in the process. Grace coupled with effort, humility as against false ego, enthusiasm along faith and patience is what we all need to survive to sail through and survive.

Publisher: Birch Books

Furrows in a Field by Sugata Srinivasaraju

Veteran journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju's Furrows in a Field explores with critical insight and sympathy the exceptional life of H.D. Deve Gowda in regional and national politics. It examines his federal commitment; his deep knowledge of irrigation, agriculture and constitutional law; his secular steadfastness, and unassuming interventions in matters of national importance.

The Incomparable Festival by Mir Yar Ali Khan 'Jan Sahib'

The Incomparable Festival (Musaddas Tahniyat-e-Jashn-e-Benazir) by Mir Yar Ali (whose pen name was Jan Sahib) is a little known but sumptuous masterpiece of Indo-Islamic literary culture, presented here for the first time in English translation. The long poem, written in rhyming sestet stanzas, is about the royal festival popularly called jashn-e-benazir (the incomparable festival), inaugurated in 1866 by the Nawab Kalb-e-Ali Khan (r. 1865-87) with the aim of promoting art, culture and trade in his kingdom at Rampur in northern India. The task of commemorating the sights and wonders of the festival was given to the hugely popular writer of rekhti verse, the tart and playful sub-genre of the ghazal, reflecting popular women's speech, of which Jan Sahib is one of the last practitioners.

Structured as an ode to the nawab, the poem is a world album depicting various classes on the cusp of social upheaval. They include the elite, distinguished artists and commoners, brought together at the festivities, blurring the distinction between poetry, history and biography, and between poetic convention and social description. The book is a veritable archive of the legendary khayal singers, percussionists, and instrumentalists, courtesans, boy-dancers, poets, storytellers (dastango) and reciters of elegies (marsiyago). But, above all, the poem gives voice to the 'lowest' denizens of the marketplace by bringing to light their culinary tastes, artisanal products, religious rituals and beliefs, and savoury idioms, thereby focusing on identities of caste and gender in early modern society.

This Penguin Classics edition will be of interest not just to the Urdu and Hindi literary historian, but to specialists and readers interested in the histories of music, dance, and the performative arts, as well as scholars of gender and sexuality in South Asia. Lovers of Urdu poetry will find in it a forgotten masterpiece.

Publisher: Penguin Random House

3 & The Emerald Stone of Irene by Vinod Raman

A legend for many, a bedtime story for a child; but the Occult Stone that Empress Irene gifted Harun-al-Rashid during his conquest of Byzantium in 782 AD, the stone with the light of fortune, referred in history as Noor-e-Abbasid, lies deep-buried at an ancient, unearthed desert city Al-Rafika.

With every common man pushing Al-Rafika as one of the stories from the Scheherazade's Arabian Nights, the legend reaches a flashpoint, when 3 high profile assassinations sweep the world. The only common link between the killings was a glittering golden arrow found near them. The Order of the Nine Angles, a dangerous neo-Nazi Satanic Organization, has set itself in the quest of the stone, to accomplish its greatest dream - The New World Order.

As the dark horses of terror start riding across the world, an adventurer, a historian and a spy come together to unearth a deadly macabre of events. Battling the Berbers of Tunisia, to the cryptic and perilous Caucasus Mountains, through the necropolis of Turkey, to the mystics of the Tigra, and then finally to Al-Rafika, the '3' follow the deadly trait unravelling the marvels of the glorious Islamic Caliphate, to stop the dark lord, Nergal, and his mission of a Global Ragnarok.

Vipassana by Shonali Sabherwal

Do you wish to sharpen your awareness? Train your mind to observe your thoughts and emotions Bestselling author Shonali Sabherwal's latest book is for anyone looking to start meditating. With a detailed guide and a focus on Vipassna, it shows you how to control the highs and lows in life and take charge of your happiness. It teaches you how to occupy a state of equanimity and be present in the moment through an ancient technique used by the Buddha for enlightenment. Lift yourself up on this journey from misery to happiness, from defilement to purity, from bondage to liberation and from ignorance to enlightenment. Turn your life around through Vipassana.

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Second Meals by Celebrity Chef Davinder Kumar

All the recipes in this book have been written in a manner that makes it easy to follow. Each recipe has been tried out personally to ensure that it is accurate and perfect. To make preparation simple/easy, the ingredients in this book have been listed in the order in which they are to be used. All weights are net, not gross. If the recipe says 100 gms chicken it implies the weights of the ingredients after clearing and deboning. Similarly, any vegetable that is required should be weighed after clearing, washing and cutting.

Each recipe yields one portion and is sufficient to be served as a main course or single dish besides accompaniments, i.e. salad, chutney. A full portion can be easily shared by more persons depending upon the menu.

Each preparation has its own distinctive taste, not only because of the different textures of the meat but also because of the varying fragrances of different combinations of spices in the marination. The quantities are mentioned in gross, tablespoon, teaspoon, and cups.

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