National Dementia Strategy

Final Consultative meeting of Experts on Developing the National Dementia Strategy for India was held at India Habitat Centre on 7th and 8th Dec. 2009. Dr.Jacob Roy , National Chairman ,ARDSI announced that the Summary of this report will be released in March 2010 and Final 'Dementia India Document' will be released on 21st Sep' 2010.

Union minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Mukul Wasnik was present on the 8th Dec to understand and support the cause.

While appreciating the efforts made by Alzheimer’s Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI) for developing a National Dementia Strategy, the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Mukul Wasnik ensured to include the recommendations from the deliberations in the review of the National Policy on Older Persons. He was speaking at the valedictory function of the Two-Day Consultative Meeting of Experts for Developing National Dementia Strategy here today.

The Minister also added that the Government of India is committed to ensure the well being of the older persons which also includes Dementia. In this regard, among various other initiatives, a National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP); Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 were introduced. Integrated Scheme for Older Persons has been introduced for improving the quality of life of the elderly which includes scheme such as running of Day Care Centres for Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Patients, etc.

While stressing the need of caregivers, he said, ‘ people with dementia typically need round-the-clock care and supervision. They also may need assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. Meeting these needs takes patience, understanding, and careful thought by the person’s caregivers’.

‘Caring for a person with dementia requires specific skills in providing activities, overseeing medication crises, and handling problem behaviours. For this Dementia care givers require special education about dementia and professional support. It appears that the level of understanding of dementia is limited and hence there is a need to increase awareness among care givers and the community on management of Dementia’.

As per World Alzheimer’s Report published by the Alzheimer’s disease International, it was estimated that as on today there are 36 million people with dementia in the world and in India there are about 3 million with Dementia. The number may go up to 10 million by 2030.

The social and economic consequences of this increase will be extraordinary. This is not simply because of the sheer numbers of people who will have dementia, but because dementia is one of the most disabling of all chronic non communicable disease which leads to personality changes and behavioural problems.

Studies have shown that people who maintain tight control over their glucose levels, who engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as social interactions, chess, crossword puzzles, and playing a musical instrument, significantly lower their risk of developing or delay the onset of dementia.

Dr. Daisy Acosta Chairman, Alzheimer Disease International ; Mr.Michael Splaine,Director, State Policy & Advocacy Programs, Alzheimer’s Association, USA; Ms. Florence Lustman, Inspecteur général des finances Chargée du p lan Alzheimer, France ;Dr. Eneida Mioshi, Research Officer Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Australia ; Dr. K. Jacob Roy ARDSI ,Founder &National Chairman ; Smt. Nirmala M. Narula President Emeritus, ARDSI ; Mr. M M Sabrawal , President Emeritus Helpage India ; Dr.S.D.Gokhale President ILC -I ; Mr.Gangadharan , IFA; Dr. Mala Kapur Shankardass INPEA; Dr. Mathew Varghese, National Coordinator – National Dementia Strategy ; Sailesh Mishra , President Silver Inning Foundation ; ARDSI Governing Body Member & members from 14 chapters of ARDSI , Eminent Psychiatrist, Neurologist , Psychologist ,Social Sector, Para professional , Legal expert and Media expert participated in this National meet.