Fulbright Forum – Looking Back, Going Forward: Dementia Care, COVID-19, and India

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Date(s) - 11/02/21
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Looking Back, Going Forward: Dementia Care, COVID-19, and India

November 2nd, 2021, 12:30 pm EDT

COVID-19 has struck the globe in countless ways, for those affiliated with the Fulbright program it has been possible to see the effects of the pandemic outside of our communities. Dementia is the sixth largest cause of death from non-communicable illness.

In countries like India, improved social wealthfare has led to stress on public health resources. This panel will discuss the history of dementia care in India to its current state in a world beset by global health inequality.

About the Speakers

Nils de Mol van Otterloo, DSW
Dr. de Mol van Otterloo received a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professionalism Award in 2016 to do research on “Musical Reminiscence Therapy for Dementia Care” in Kerala, India. He has worked with Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) to expand their programs and develop a training center for dementia caregivers in Trivandrum. He will be returning to Kerala in 2022 to research caregiving for dementia in India with the help of ARDSI, the US-India Educational Foundation, and the University of Kerala.


Meera Pattabiraman 
Ms. Pattabiraman is the Chairperson of Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI). She is a former caregiver of family members with dementia. Ms. Pattabiraman has been associated with ARDSI for over 25 years. She is credited with the Kerala State Initiative on Dementia, and she is one of the authors of the Dementia India Report, one of the largest needs assessments in the field of dementia in the developing world. Ms. Pattabiraman helped develop the “Dementia India Strategy Report” and handed it over to the Health Ministers of India. Board Member as well as Alzheimer’s Disease International. She is a member of the World Dementia Council.

Peter Braun, MSW
For two decades Peter Braun was President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association of Southern California, creating a model for service delivery in ethnically diverse communities. His engagement with Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) developed as a result of his commitment to an international vision for the field. For nearly 10 years, Professor Braun has been on Faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak – Peck School of Social Work. More recently, his engagement with ADI led to a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of India (ARDSI) which has resulted in an expansion of ARDSI.

Murali Nair, PhD
Dr. Nair is an Adjunct Professor of Social Enterprise Administration at Columbia University. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, and for the past 20 years he has been involved in doing field studies among healthy centenarians in Costa Rica, China, Sri Lanka, and in the spice mountains region of India (Kerala). Along with many articles, Dr. Nair has produced multiple mini-documentaries on his field work on the lives of centenarians.


Paola Barbarino
Ms.Barbarino is the CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). She is a Board Member of the World Dementia Council, a Trustee of The Postal Museum and of Lauderdale House. Previously, she was a Non-Executive Director of the Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (NCDA), a Trustee of Shelter, the housing/homelessness charity, and of MLA London.



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