Red Cross at the 28th Spring Health Festival
On Thursday, May 25, 2023, the 28th Spring Health Festival was held in the Army Cultural Centre in Belgrade, in which the Red Cross of Serbia also participated. Nataša Todorović, expert associate and psychologist from the Red Cross of Serbia, participated in the forum entitled: “How we fight Alzheimer's disease”. She talked about the stages of the disease and how to recognize them. The signs and symptoms of dementia are divided into three stages. The early stages of dementia are often overlooked because the disease comes on gradually. Common symptoms include: forgetfulness; loss of sense of time; getting lost in places that a person knows well. The middle stage gives clearer symptoms, which leave more marks in the life of the affected person: forgetting recent events or people's names; getting lost in your own home; increasing communication problems; need help with maintaining hygiene, nutrition, etc.; changes in behaviour that include wandering or repeating the same questions over and over. The late stage is characterized by almost complete dependence on the help of others and inactivity.
In addition to information about the disease, risk factors, recommendations for informal caregivers, Nataša Todorović spoke about the project „Addressing and preventing care needs through innovative community care Centres (I –CCC)“ which is implemented in Sombor and Pirot. The first objective is to provide integrated services that will help preserve the functional capacities of older persons and promote healthy aging. Another objective is to support informal caregivers while at the same time creating links between health care and social welfare services. The innovativeness of the service consists of cognitive exercises for persons diagnosed with dementia in order to slow down the course of the disease and also represents an attempt to use digitization for the purpose of prevention. Trained volunteers from Sombor and Pirot visit older persons with dementia at least once a week and, in addition to psychosocial and practical support, have regular cognitive exercises on tablets.