One day International workshop on “Cognitive and Healthy Ageing” (Virtual) was organized by the School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH), Coordinated by Dr. M.Varalakshmi, Assistant Professor, School of Medical Sciences. The registered participants for the workshop were drawn from different disciplines and levels of education like Higher secondary to post-doctoral level, from different work pattern such as skilled and non-teaching employees, administrative and teaching fraternity and students across 23 states, 3 union territories (UT) and 8 countries.
The program as per the scheduled agenda began with the Virtual Inaugural program at 10:30 AM on 29.12.2021 presided over by Prof. B.J.Rao, Honorable Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad. Esteemed guests were invited virtually to grace the occasion.
Prof. Geeta K Vemuganti, Dean, School of Medical Sciences, delivered the welcome address and unveiled the purpose and scope of the workshop. She has expressed her pleasure to host such a unique Interdisciplinary International workshop on “Cognitive and Healthy Ageing” by the school.
Dr. M. Varalakshmi, Assistant Professor & Program coordinator of the workshop and Healthy Ageing program presented the overview and objectives of the workshop and the importance of themes included in a very comprehensive manner. She has given an overview of the Healthy Ageing initiative carried out and its preliminary findings and the essence of PACE program.
Prof. Subhash Kaul, Senior Neurologist & Rtd. Dean, KIMS and Guest of Honour for the event delivered the Key Note Address on “Brain at Risk”. The talk was exceptionally motivating with relevant illustrations, integrating environmental, physical, psycho-social factors that acts as risk for brain function and the measures to sustain brain health were also wonderfully presented.
Prof. B.J. Rao Honorable Vice Chancellor, Chief Guest of the Inaugural event congratulated the organizers and pointed on the importance of the theme chosen for the workshop, attracting various age groups and educational and working levels of the participants to the workshop. He encouraged to take forward such workshops of global importance with broader scope and vision.
Program coordinator Dr. Varalakshmi, proposed vote of thanks, thanked the Institute and the School for being a wonderful platform to build innovative & interdisciplinary programs and events like this that helps in capacity building of students and professionals from various disciplines. She extended her thanks to her colleagues of the school, university administrative, technical, ministerial staff and support staff. She also recorded appreciation and thanks to the volunteers and Research scholars for their tireless efforts and assistance in the conduct of the program. Inaugural event was concluded by 11:40 AM with virtual group photo and a Tea break before resuming for the workshop forenoon sessions.
SESSION 1- AGING HEALTH AND WELL BEING
The Session 1 in the forenoon resumed by 11:50 AM after a short tea break on “Ageing, Health and Wellbeing”, chaired by Prof.B.R.Shamanna, School of Medical Sciences.
The first speaker of the day, Dr.Gowri Sen Gupta, Assistant Director General, DGHS, MOHFW, GoI spoke on Challenges and Opportunities for Healthy Ageing. The talk briefed on GoI policies for Ageing population such as NPHCE and Government initiatives for promoting healthy ageing among population. Dr.Gupta also pointed on the challenges along with opportunities and need for social and system preparedness.
The second speaker of the session Dr.Swathi, Assistant Professor and HOD, Dept of Psychology, OU delivered a talk on “Resilience and Ageing”. Dr.Swathi discussed on the pitfalls of Happiness and contentment, and impact of perceived health and wellbeing on Quality of Ageing. Components of coherence and its influence on stress with gender dimensions of resilience and measures to promote resilience across ages were discussed well.
The session concluded by 1:15 pm after discussion forum with a lunch break.
SESSION 2- NUTRITION, SLEEP AND COGNITIVE AGEING
The afternoon Session resumed by 2:05 PM. The session holds the theme on ‘Sleep, Nutrition and Cognitive Ageing” Chaired by Prof. Ramesh Kumar Mishra, Head of CNCS, UoH.
The first speaker of the afternoon session Dr.Sushil K Jha, Associate Professor, JNU spoke on Sleep, Memory and Ageing. Dr.Jha very elaborately discussed on sleep role in memory consolidation, with relevant illustrations of animal studies of sleep behaviors affecting brain function and memory. The talk was thought provoking highlighting the need for healthy sleep behaviors for brain health.
Dr.Sylvia Fernandez Rao, Scientist D, NIN, ICMR delivered a highly invigorating talk on Nutrition and Brain Health . The talk was catchy and reaching to the participants with comprehensive elaboration of nutritional facts of health. The protective effects of physical exercise, sleep and social connections for brain functioning were highlighted. The concepts of MeDi diet, DASH and MIND were wonderfully discussed.
The open forum for Q&A was extended to break time with profound interest and curiosity demonstrated by the participants and the session concluded by 3:25 PM
SESSION 3- PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL WELLBEING OF HEALTHY AGEING -Valedictory Session
Eagerly awaited final session which is Valedictory session of the program that includes two more eminent speakers. Prof. S.Sivaraju, Chairperson, Center for Excellence in CSR, TISS, Mumbai delivered the Key Note address for the Valedictory program on “ Social Dimensions of Ageing and Wellbeing”. Prof. Sivaraju congratulated and appreciated the selection of very relevant theme of social need and the work shop uniqueness in covering the umbrella of essential themes of ageing challenges and measures to address the challenges. The socio-economic and resource restraints and need for higher education integration to geriatric needs were discussed.
Prof. Momna, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Science, University of Bath, the Chief Guest of the Valedictory session delivered Valedictory address on “Digital Behavior and Physical Activity in Healthy Ageing. Dr. Momna, not only took the group through virtual tour of the University of Bath, she took through the global population history. The talk included the demographic transitions and key players of healthy ageing. Policy interventions for Healthy ageing such as prevention, promotion and care with global perspective were impressed upon. The interconnections of digital behaviors of physical connectivity were explained exquisitely and the concept of Equity was beautifully discussed with social and personal perspectives. The session concluded by 4:35 PM.
The workshop was highly interactive and diverse in groups. The Course has provided special attention to measures of promoting healthy ageing, need for engaging younger generation in understanding geriatric needs and importance of intergenerational connectivity, social intelligence, resilience, Nutrition, sleep and digital behaviors in physical and social functions, measures to reduce brain risk and promote cognitive and social functioning for healthy ageing.
The Participants were in an average 150, across from 23 states and three union territories and eight countries across. Participants were aged between 19-76 years, with varied educational levels from higher secondary to post-doctoral level, from works of skilled, non-teaching, administrative and teaching faculty and students. The proactive participation of the participants is highly imposing for the workshop. With this I wrap up thanking each one with one final statement;
Nourish your Mind, Body and Relationships- Activity, Balance and Connectivity- are ABCs of Healthy Ageing
Happy to mention that the Healthy Ageing initiative carried by the school include multimodal strategies of Physical Exercise, psycho social perspectives in Healthy Ageing. All ages and background of people showed vigorous interest to participate in the workshop. Workshop concluded with formal vote of thanks proposed by Research scholars Amita & David.
Report contributed by Dr. M.Varalakshmi, Assistant Professor, School of Medical Sciences.