Celebrating the National Elderly Day, which falls on 29th of May, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (AJCUI) and Alzheimer Indonesia held an online seminar and concert for the elderly, people with dementia, and caregivers. The event was enthusiastically joined by hundreds of elderlies and their caregivers who keenly give attention to use technology to participate.
Neurologist and Magister of Biomedical lecturer, Dr Yuda Turana, Sp.S., conducted the seminar talking about Healthy and Productive Elderly.
“Studies show that healthy and productive elderlies are affected more by lifestyle rather than the genetics factor, which only accounts for 25 percent. What can be done is to avoid risk factors and multiply protective factors. Being active is the key to happiness for the elderly. Why happiness is important because studies show social isolation also has the potential for death as high as people who smoke 15 cigarettes a day.” said Dr Yuda
The risk factors mentioned include smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, depression, head injury, stress, and loneliness / social isolation. Whereas what is meant by protective factors are social activities such as going out for strolls/trips, visiting relatives, group activities, worship/praying, and child-care duty over grandchildren, which involve cognitive aspects such as reading stories, preparing or feeding food.
This event intended to give extra attention to senior members in our community during their twilight years. This concern feels far much more critical, particularly in this tough time of the pandemic, and for us who live around elderlies.
Elders’ weakened immune system is a major factor in their vulnerability to the Covid-19 virus. According to the Mei 28th repost from the national Coronavirus Disease Response Acceleration Taskforce, patients from the age group above sixty years recorded the highest death rate due to coronavirus infection by 43.6%, followed by the age group 46-59 years as much as 39.7%. Whereas, based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) from the 2019 National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas) result, the number of older adults in Indonesia reached 25.64 million people or around 9.60 percent of the population.
To the fact of their vulnerability, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has announced the new normal guidelines. Elderlies are requested to be more attentive, stay at home, and also practice the universal precaution to wear masks, regularly wash hands, and physical distancing.
AJCUI, through the School of Medicine and Health Science, pays great attention to the quality of life of the elderly, which is explicitly their excellence related to the issues surrounding the elderly and geriatrics. It reflects on the three missions of higher education: education, research, and community service.
“Dementia is our problem. Atma Jaya School of Medication and Health Science, in particular, has a very important role. We are responsible for preparing the students, doctors who graduated from Atma Jaya, to become doctors who have a superior competency, especially in handling patients with dementia,” said Dr. Yuda.
“Seminars, workshops, or training sessions are a few ways to bring more to their competency. Not only able to detect, even more, to handle patients with dementia,” added dr. Yuda.
Campus as a place where educated young people are a tremendous asset for agents of change. For that reason, Atma Jaya committed as the center of the youth movement to make social change. The potential for future young generations who are aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s is significant for future impactful and relevant discoveries for the nation.
The support is to the life quality of senior citizens actualized by Atma Jaya Alzheimer Indonesia Center for Excellence (ATZI), which open at Semanggi Campus since 2018. A shared space to access information and complete education related to people with dementia. For Atma Jaya, this is an actual act and an example of good practice of collaboration between civil society and higher education institutions to deliver a research base movements and advocacy, and become a data source for policymakers in the health sector.
More to the actual movement from the youth, Don Bosco Community (DBS) will organize their 14th concert titled DBC fo ALZI on November 14th, 2020. Profits from the show will be donated to the Alzheimer Indonesia, “That is one proof that Atma Jaya School of Medicine and Health science students care about the elderly.”
This seminar and singing together event also enlivened by a number of Indonesia’s top musicians who also had an interest in the issue of dementia and Alzheimer’s in Indonesia. This online concert conducted music arranged by the composer Andi Rianto and presented a duet of the seriosa singer Aning Katamsi, soloist tenor Farman Purnama, and also presented Michelle Oswari, winner of Atma Jaya Got Talent 2019. This activity hoped to be a gift from Atma Jaya and ALZI for people with dementia and caregivers. From it, society expected to be more aware, particularly the younger generation, to ensure a better quality of life for the elderly in Indonesia.