Dementia and cognitive decline are widespread, scary and costly, both for patients and their families, who, if they could, would gladly accept screening initiatives to intercept the disease and deal with it, as well as non-pharmacological solutions in the absence of therapies. A survey conducted by the Centro Studi di Senior Italia FederAnziani on over two thousand people captures the perception of dementia in the population. And it does so on the eve of the launch of the program featuring E-MemoryCare: a personalized digital platform to promote and combat cognitive decline. By stimulating the brain, without resorting to drugs, but thanks to a series of exercises. The initiative, signed by Senior Italia FederAnziani with ASI (Italian Social Sports Associations) and Vitattiva, is ready to come to life: from tomorrow it will in fact be possible to join in Rome and Milan (by calling the numbers 320 232 1585 for Rome and 02 897 01805 for Milan; it is possible to call from Monday to Friday, during office hours).
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E-MemoryCare, the project against dementia for 10 thousand people
In fact, Rome and Milan, explain the creators of the project, will be the points of reference for the 10 thousand people who will be involved (half in the Lombard capital, half in the capital) respectively at the Santagostino Psiche Medical Centers and the Diagnostic Centers of the Artemisia Lab Group. platform involves a series of exercises to stimulate, in a targeted way, different cognitive aspects: from memory, to relational skills, to emotions. The exercises are administered by the healthcare staff, who together with the patients, family members and caregivers, have direct access to the platform. “The kit supplied is a tablet – he explains Marianna Messina, Senior Project manager Italy, e-MemoryCare Team Leader and creator of the method – Inside there is the software with everything needed for its operation. The therapy is personalized to the patient’s life and knowledge, whether reported by the patient himself or by family members.”
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A platform for patients and caregivers, with the support of healthcare professionals
If patients and their families have the task of carrying out the exercises and following the progress of the program, healthcare workers have the task of monitoring the cognitive state of the patients, administering the exercises but also ensuring that the program can work as best as possible. . Fundamental, he explains Claudio Mencacci, President of the Society of Geriatric Psychiatry, is regularity, at least a couple of times a week, but not only: sometimes it is necessary to remodulate the exercises, as needed. “Even when the cognitive deterioration is very serious, a form of “I-Thou” relationship, that is, closeness and sharing, may still be possible,” Mencacci points out.
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Dementia, the need for prevention
Dementia and cognitive impairment have now reached enormous proportions. Alongside the statistics reeled off by institutions and associations – it is estimated that in 2050 there will be around 140 million people affected by dementia – there are the experiences of patients and their families. In fact, as highlighted by the survey, 60% of those interviewed have already had cases of dementia among relatives and friends, 71% of families fear the burden (economic and psychological) of dementia.
There is also a strong need for prevention activities for dementia and cognitive decline (85% of the population is in favour), 70% know that there are no drugs capable of reversing the disease and 60% are not aware of any methods non-pharmacological, although 64% would use them if they were economically sustainable. “As the survey highlights, projects and information campaigns capable of concretely helping patients and families solve these problems are needed – he added Alessandro Padovani, President of the Italian Society of Neurology and Director of the Neurological Clinic and of the Specialty School in Neurology of the University of Brescia – Dementia is a pathology that affects the cognitive sphere. E-MemoryCare works by stimulating the patient’s cognitive, affective, social, behavioral and relational areas, thus delaying the deterioration of their faculties. Dementia and more generally mental pathologies are still excessively stigmatized by society and at the same time underestimated.”