Amana Healthcare joined with the Dubai Health Authority to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Day by hosting an educational conference and support group for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their respective family members in Dubai, UAE. The educational seminar was led by Dr. Salwa Abdulla Al Suwaidi, Director and Specialist Senior Registrar in Geriatrics at DHA, and Dr. Khalid Anwar, Consultant in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Amana Healthcare. The meeting focused on the growing rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the United Arab Emirates, recent global developments in technologies for treatments, and coping mechanisms to support both patients and their families.
“The incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease is increasing rapidly in the UAE,” said Dr. Khalid Anwar. “This is partly due to an aging population – particularly among UAE Nationals, who constitute the largest proportion of the elderly in the UAE – and partly due to other locally-prevalent risk factors such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both of which are associated with increased lifetime risk of dementia. This underscores the need for increased awareness, earlier diagnosis and better strategies for prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social care.”
As the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease affects a new individual every four seconds on a global scale. By the year 2050, the number of people with dementia worldwide is expected to triple, making dementia potentially one of the most significant health issues of the 21st century. The current projection for the growth rate in the UAE is a 600 percent by 2030.
“While medicine plays a vital role in managing Alzheimer’s disease, we should not overlook the importance of social interaction to maintain and even in some cases reduce the severity of the disease,” said Dr Al Suwaidi. “It is also important that family and loved ones of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease receive the care and support they need, since it can impact nearly every aspect of their life. The burden of caregiving can increase a risk of developing a health problem among caregivers, and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of dementia caregivers experience depression, high levels of stress, or burnout. Seeking help and support is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” Amana Healthcare provides a specialized inpatient rehabilitation service for neurological conditions such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. A home transition service is also provided to help patients and their families manage these conditions at home.