The Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, partnered with the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand in organizing "The 11th Creation of Thai society to stay away from Alzheimer’s" on February 23, 2020 at the Tawana Hotel, Bangkok.
Dr. Nares Damrongchai, CEO of TCELS, began by noting that TCELS has always placed great importance on reducing inequalities in Thai society in accordance with government policy. This workshop was designed to provide knowledge to the elderly on how they can take care of themselves to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The TCELS has partnered with the foundation in organizing the event for 11 consecutive years, as part of its mission to play a role in providing integral healthcare services for the elderly as the country prepares to embrace an aging society.
“This workshop is organized under the project ‘Thai society stays away from Alzheimer’s to honor the auspicious occasion of the Coronation of King Rama X’, which offers the elderly knowledge on how to fend off Alzheimer’s,” he said. Experts from various fields also joined the event.
At last year’s event, the TCELS and the foundation introduced the MEMO Gaming application, which helps the elderly exercise their minds to improve brain health and memory through lively cartoons that are easy to understand and follow. This year, the highlight was the launch of the Calcool Gaming application, which features chess games to train brain and memory and thus reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, and includes a math game, a fruit math equation game and a geometry puzzle game. The Calcool Gaming app can be downloaded for the Android system at Play Store and the iOS system at App Store.
Especially for the elderly who like to greet friends and family via LINE groups every morning, the TCELS, the foundation and Densu (Thailand) have designed a group of games titled "Hello Good Brain" to train thinking. These games are expected to help in the practice of memorization and observation while also offering other benefits to stimulate various brain functions. Playing games is considered a good daily brain exercise to reduce the risks of Alzheimer's among the elderly.
“The TCELS will add more knowledge in the future and adopt holistic medical technology to develop services for the elderly. This includes the development of anti-lost tracker or a device to track patients’ activities to support medical care. In addition, the TECLS will also carry out research on natural extraction technology, and design medical device prototypes to facilitate treatments. The TCELS aims to support the development through the Medicopolis program for practical use in the future, which will enable the elderly to enjoy a better quality of life," said Dr. Nares.
Dr. Yooth Bodharamik, Chairman of the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand, said that this event was one of preventive measures to combat the growing incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s. He added that the foundation is determined to raise public awareness in an effort to reduce the rise in the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The foundation is dedicated to lowering the rate of Alzheimer’s and improving the quality of life of the elderly and by so doing, reducing the burden imposed by the disease and help relatives cope with the difficult times.
Assoc. Prof. Nantika Thavichachart, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Alzheimer Foundation of Thailand, noted that the event again received the support of both the public and private sectors in creating public awareness of the disease and encouraging all parties to collaborate in solving the problem associated with the condition. The foundation also provides knowledge and understanding of how to prevent and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's as well as the provision of proper care.
“The ‘11th Creation of Thai society to stay away from Alzheimer’s’ is organized to express gratitude and loyalty to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and reflect the love, unity and solidarity of all parties in disseminating the royal prestige and expressing their good wishes to the King,” Assoc. Prof Nantika said.
Explaining that the event placed emphasis on the active participation of attendees, Assoc. Prof. Nantika noted that this had inspired the introduction of an “Elderly School”. After the lectures during the morning session, a series of breakout classrooms were organized as follows:
1. The science room provided learning on brain exercises to encourage awareness among the participants, especially the elderly, of the importance of mental exercise in fending off Alzheimer's.
2. The physical education room taught exercises to strengthen the body. Participants and again especially the elderly, were encouraged to be aware of the importance of suitable workouts for their age.
3. The educational technology room provided learning on accessibility to technologies such as the use of applications to take photos and retouch them via smartphones and other interesting applications to monitor the social changes and roles of the elderly.
4. The home economics room taught cooking for different life stages to ensure proper nutrition.
5. The music education room offered music therapy learning with a focus on mind relaxation through age-appropriate melodies.
"Participants can get tips and apply these to their lives to help them stay away from Alzheimer’s. The foundation will continue in its efforts to help the greying society,” Assoc. Prof. Nantika concluded.