ADAP Story

      I was invited to my first ADAP activity in September 2005 after I returned from dementia fellowship abroad. The activity was in Cebu and it was a well-attended event as the ADAP was promoting their first book on the Recommendations for the Diagnosis, Management, Treatment and Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. There was something for everyone: lecturers, workshops, a memory walk, and lay forum.

      I was amazed that compared to other organizations, ADAP’s member were not only Doctors, but it included nurses, psychologists, therapists, carers and families and families of patients with dementia! I vowed to be part of this organization not only as a professional who deals with dementia on a daily basis but also as a relative of a person with dementia.

      I was a 4th year medical student when I suspected my aunt of having Alzheimer’s dementia. I brought her to the smartest neurology professor I knew and she was properly diagnosed. Sadly, no medication were available then and she rapidly deteriorated. Family education and caregiver support were non-existent and I patiently had to explain her illness to every family member and friend who asked.

      We have come a long way since, in patient and family education, in prevention, in toll to diagnose at the earliest possible time and the medication that alleviate their confusion and prolong their dignified independence. But we need to further our advocacy so that every Filipino in every island of our country, is aware of what dementia is; the warning signs that call for a consultation and how best to deal with it. With a heightened awareness in the community for the disease, persons with dementia can live fulfilling lives among us.