Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM)

Overview

Today, over 44 million individuals are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia worldwide, and millions more are their caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that causes a severe impact on patient’s life. The annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Malaysia has increased by 46% since 1990, an average of 2% a year. While this disease is more recognized today than ever before, the misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s are due to lack of common knowledge among the public. Awareness, early detection and intervention are the key components in battling this disease. Understanding the difference between the important signs and those that are less concerning can help the public make better decisions about when to speak with a physician. Increased awareness will improve the preventive strategies, and will facilitate the earlier intervention and better treatment results.

The major barrier to early intervention is stigma.  Research shows that many people feel a sense of shame or embarrassment associated with a diagnosis of AD.  This promotes denial, and serves as an obstacle to early diagnosis and treatment. Awareness campaigns can generate discussion, which can breed familiarity and reduce stigma.  In this regard, awareness is a direct path to openness, dialogue and information exchange, proactive management of symptoms, and professional intervention at the earliest possible stages.

The Alzheimer’s resource project in IMU was initiated by the department of psychology in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) in 2016. The initial idea was to design a blog called ‘ADFM-IMU Alzheimer’s blog’ in order to provide a platform for professionals, students, patients and caregivers within Malaysia to improve and spread the knowledge and awareness about the disease, and to keep themselves updated regarding the latest news nationally and globally. The objective is to enhance the student directed learning while facilitating the involvement of students in improving the quality of life of the community. The blog will display the firs-hand information developed from the national and global news, and student directed projects and workshops with community, patients and caregivers.

What has been done so far:

    ADFM-IMU Blog Launch

  1. Launched the ADFM-IMU Alzheimer’s Blog
    The project is led by Dr Zahra, and coordinated by Bushra, one of the psychology students who has helped with designing the blog. This initiative will be run by IMU students in the healthcare field under the supervision of IMU faculty and healthcare professionals.
  2. Workshop on Alzheimer’s disease awareness
    Under the MPU project, psychology students have conducted a workshop on Alzheimer’s Disease awareness in September 2017.
  3. A group of students from Medical biotechnology, Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry conducted two days of activities in ADFM (1st March and 21st March 2018) to provide support and encouragement to people living with Alzheimer’s disease by sharing happiness through some meaningful games and activities:
    1. Cooking simple healthy meals
      Simple meals was prepared like egg sandwiches and fruit salad. There was no handling of the stove, all the ingredients was prepared beforehand. Procedure on how to make the sandwiches was demonstrated and then they carried it out.
    2. Tree planting
      Each member was given a small pot and seeds which they could plant. Students demonstrated how to do it first and then helped them. The plant was remain under their care even after the project and they will need to continue watering it.
    3. Mini petting zoo
      One of the group members owns a few animals, and he brought cats and rabbits. They let the members to interact with animals. Research has shown that the presence of tame animals can provide a sense of calm for people living with Alzheimer’s. The interaction between the animals and the members of the center was under very close supervision.
    4. Arts and crafts
      Individuals was given empty cards to design based on 5 different samples that was prepared beforehand. A range of items and colors was provided to enable personalized designing as well.

 


Objectives

ADFM-IMU Blog Launch

  • To improve the awareness of dementia among families and caregivers of dementia patients.

Target Audience

  • Family members and caregivers of dementia patients

 

IMU Cares Integration with MPU (U4) Module

The future plan is to improve our collaborations with students and faculty from the different programs in IMU and other universities in Malaysia to enhance the inter-professional engagement in the project. We hope to bring awareness about the multi-dimensional factors involved in the development of the Alzheimer’s disease, and the challenges that patients, families, and caregivers are facing in the Malaysian context.

Project Details

If you are interested to know more or have any enquiries on this project, kindly drop an email to the project leader below.

Project Leader: Dr Zahra Fazli Khalaf
Contact Detail: ZahraKhalaf@imu.edu.my
Community Partner: Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM)

Serving the community is a manifestation of the University's core values but also as part of experiential learning, generally, a very effective form of learning - Walking the Talk.

Top