A group of Medical Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy students from IMU were involved in an initiative with ADFM with the main objective of providing support and encouragement to people living with Alzheimer’s Disease by sharing the joy of carrying out basic activities and meaningful fun and games. They also sought to help the individuals develop new skills and enhance existing ones, so that they might undertake new hobbies or rediscover old memories of activities done in the past.
The role ADFM plays is quite significant with efforts ranging from practical and emotional support of the patients and their families, caregiving services like day care centre, repository and nursing services as well as media exposure to promote community knowledge as well as talks, workshops and exhibitions. The students gave their focus on the day care centre housing more than 40 individuals, who are cared by trained therapists and nurses every day.
Their first visit on 1 March 2018 saw a presence of about 30 patients and 10 staff. The day starting off with some light aerobics designed to improve muscular coordination, followed by mind games like Bingo and memory card games, which helped the team gauge the abilities of each of the patients. The pace was then switched to more physical activities such as singing and light dancing. The station games after lunch was the highlight of the day, consisting of a variety of activities such as planting, light cooking, arts and crafts and mini-petting zoo, of which had particularly great reception. The activities presented to the patients were researched in advance to ensure that they were suitable in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease and age.
The project leader reports that he, at the end, learnt to work together with his team, built bonds between people of different programmes, and gained insight on the trials and tribulations undergone by Alzheimer’s patients. In particular, he notes a realization that we could be at any end of the spectrum when we reach an elderly age, and thusly should not take for granted opportunities given in the present as this disease can affect family members, friends, and possibly ourselves.