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La Salle Dasmariñas students present study on Alzheimer’s Disease at Indonesian conference

06:44 PM July 16, 2018

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Toni Chua, Maria Karmela Gaviola, and Christian Mikas Alcantara

A group of students from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas have been chosen to present their undergraduate thesis at the International Conference on Communication, Mass Media & Society 2018 (COMASS 2018) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on July 19-20, 2018.

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COMASS2018 is a creative platform with a high-level attendance, industry- leading and cutting-edge content, unrivaled networking opportunities, and a presenter-friendly atmosphere.

Their thesis, “Sa Tahanan: A Case Study on the Communication Strategies Used to Maintain Relationships Between Selected Filipino Families and their Relatives Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease,” aims to educate people and address the stigmas on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, not just on the patient but on his caregivers.

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“The struggle with Alzheimer’s disease is that it affects everyone in the family, including the children,” said Toni Chua, one of the students chosen to participate in the conference.

Alzheimer’s disease is often called a family disease due to the way it affects all members of a family when one is diagnosed with the condition. However, for many people, caring for a family member afflicted with the disease takes a heavy toll on them because of the painful feeling of watching a loved one slowly deteriorate. They may at times feel isolated and struggle from grief as the person they are caring for changes before their very eyes.

In an effort to better understand the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on families, the three students immersed themselves in the lives of select Filipino families caring for someone with the condition. With their findings, they hope to help other families undergoing the challenging process of caring for their loved ones stricken with the disease.

“Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease requires a lot of patience and an even deeper compassion for the patient,” explained Chua.

In one such case, the students were introduced to a patient searching for her long-deceased parents. With memories of her adulthood deteriorating, she has difficulty recognizing her own children, who themselves have children of their own.

As one of the patient’s children recounted, “Sometimes I’ll just humor my mother. I’ll try to make her laugh. But more often than not, I prefer to tell her the truth.”

How to help

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To help these students gather funds for the presentation and publication of their paper, visit their GoGetFunding account at: https://goget.fund/2rfnGE9.

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