International Training Course for Certified Memory Trainers

In spirit of Alzheimer’s month, an International Training Course for Certified Memory Trainers was organized by the Department of Social Work, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli in south India, in association with EURAG Memory Training Center, Prague, the Czech Society for Memory Training and Brain Jogging and Heritage Foundation. Prof. Ilango Ponnuswami, Dean of Arts, Bharathidasan University who is also an alumnus of INIA and the University of Malta,  along with his colleague Mr. N. Rajavel coordinated this week long course. Ms.Dana Steinova, Head, Czech Society for Memory Training and Brain Jogging, Prague and Prof. Pavel Kalvach, M.D, Professor of Neurology, Charles University, Prague were the master trainers during this programme.

This training emerged from the need to train the elderly in simple memory techniques like mnemonics, acrostic and legends for remembering names, numbers, dates and days. It comes with no surprise that India, as one of the rapidly ageing societies in the developing world and emerging economic super power which is confronted with the enormous challenges of offering care for the huge population of older persons coupled with an abysmal lack of trained geriatric manpower, requires certified memory trainers.

Participants were trained in specific memory techniques like mnemonics, techniques for improvement of spacial orientation and very interesting and stimulating exercises for the less dominant hemisphere of brain. The participants acquired skills required for training elderly and other target groups. The course content included Prof. Pavel Kalvach’s presentation on the structure and functioning of human brain adding value to the overall training course.

In-Situ training programme in Gerontology & Geriatrics – Minsk, Belarus 

The International Institute on Ageing, United Nations-Malta (INIA), held an in-situ training programme in collaboration with the UNFPA Belarus on Gerontology & Geriatrics. The in-situ programme was held in Minsk, Belarus, between the 10 -12 October 2016, with the aim of supporting the implementation of the national demographic security program in Belarus. Leading experts specializing in demographic ageing have contributed together with other specialists namely from the spheres of social services and healthcare. In all, around 70 specialists took part in this programme, representing the Labour and Social Protection Ministry, the Healthcare Ministry, the Economy Ministry, and research institutions.

This year Belarus is expected to report on the fulfillment of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA). The state of affairs in this field is being analyzed. A national research into the state and prospects of demographic development in the Republic of Belarus in 2000-2015 is being prepared. INIA’s Director Dr. Marvin Formosa delivered a report on the principles of demographic ageing policy, whilst further elaborating on the best practices used in the care for older persons. Dr. Alexander Sidorenko, Senior Advisor of the European Center for Social Welfare Policy and Research (Austria), spoke about the information policy with regard to demographic ageing, the national potential to act in this sphere as well as key demographic trends in the Commonwealth of Independent States.  Anna Zakrevskaya from the Labor Research Institute of the Belarusian Labor and Social Protection Ministry discussed Belarus’ priorities in fulfilling the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Natalya Milkota from the same research institute shared the Belarusian experience of providing social services to older persons with dementia, and the way forward in evaluating needs for such people.