Elderly care in India has come a long way during the past decade, with a number of specialised care centres and senior living facilities opening in different parts of the country. Care for dementia patients, however, is still scarce and mostly scattered around a few key cities.
Today, dementia among senior citizens has become a major yet silent health crisis that is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the US-based Alzheimer’s Association, there are over 4 million (forty thousand) people in India who suffer from some form of dementia. While Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of Dementia, there are several other forms such as Lewy Body Dementia, Fronto-Temporal Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The widespread stigma and misinformation about Dementia prevents affected families from seeking timely medical support. The delay in diagnosis and treatment, and thereby the absence of specialised care for dementia patients, affects their psychophysical health; incapacitating them from performing basic mental and physical tasks.
Alzheimer’s disease, like most forms of Dementia, remains largely untreatable, with the exception of mild cognitive impairment which can be treated with a new medicine. Not only does Dementia affect the individual living with the disorder, but it also has a strong impact and influence on family members, caregivers and healthcare providers. Upon being diagnosed with Dementia, there is an initial surge of anxiety, fear and confusion in elderly patients and their families, which can undermine their self-esteem and lead to social isolation. Further, the high costs associated with the diagnosis, management and dementia elderly care make it unaffordable for most families, especially in smaller towns and villages.
While the causes and prevention of Dementia may still be unknown, modern science says that Dementia is manageable. Hence, caring and loving caregivers with the experience and knowledge in managing Dementia patients can make a big difference in providing relief and comfort to elderly dementia patients, while also reducing the burden on their families. However, such specialised care for dementia patients is difficult for most families to afford or provide at home.
To reduce the burden on family members, Dignity Foundation operates best-in-class Dementia Day Care Centres at an affordable price, so that more and more elderly with dementia can get access to quality care in a loving environment. Through these centres, we provide dementia elderly care across four cities – Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi. Our multidimensional care for dementia patients includes activities like games, music and exercise; healthy and hygienically cooked food; as well as, pick-up and drop facility. Given the rapid increase in the number of senior citizens getting affected by Dementia and the lack of knowledge and stigma associated with Dementia, we believe that quick and timely action is needed to mitigate this crisis as best as we can. We are also working on spreading mass awareness on Dementia, especially in the elderly, so that it can be diagnosed early and managed with empathy.
Dignity Foundation is a leading nonprofit organisation for elderly care in India. For more information about our Dementia Day Care Centres in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi, please call us at 91520 17120. For further information, visit www.dignityfoundation.com