December 8, 2009

INDIA: National Policy on Older Persons to be Reviewed Soon

. NEW DELHI, India / Press Information Bureau - Government of India / December 8, 2009 While appreciating the efforts made by Alzheimer’s Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI) for developing a National Dementia Strategy, India's Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Mukul Wasnik, ensured the inclusion of recommendations from 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. Government is committed to the well being of the older persons. This also covers Dementia. An integrated scheme for older persons introduced for to improve the quality of life of elderly includes day care centres for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, the Minister noted Mukul Wasnik speaks at the experts meeting in New Delhi for developing a national dementia strategy. Stressing the need of caregivers, he said, people with dementia typically need round-the-clock care and supervision and assistance with routine everyday activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. Meeting these needs takes patience, understanding, and careful thought by the person’s caregivers, Mr. Wasnik observed. ‘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. [rc] Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India