India has 4 million dementia patients but no government run dementia centres.
Bangalore: India has no cost-effective, government run dementia care centre. Dementia is more common in people over the age of sixty-five. And those suffering from it are either abandoned or sent to old-age homes. This can increase their suffering due to the lack of care.
Gunjan Kaur, a psychology researcher who specialises in Dementia said, “Dementia is more than just a memory loss and we don’t have any specific treatment for it. It is crucial to take care of these patients’ 24-hours a day as they need medical and nutritional assistance.”
Apart from the physical and emotional distress, families of dementia patients also witness economic implications. According to a report by National Centre for Biotechnology Information, the treatment at private centres costs around Rs 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per month.
ArunaRana, a care-giver of a dementia patient said, “My mother is a dementia patient. She has undergone a brain surgery for which we paid around Rs. 1 lakh. And we need to take care of her 24-hours a day.”
WHO says, there are 50 million dementia patients in the world and 4 million patients in India. And the journal of the Global Health Report estimates there will be 6.35 million by 2025 and around 13.33 million by 2050.
National Institute of Medical Health and Neuro Science in Bangalore is going to have the first government centre for dementia patients in India. According to a report, the completion of the building will take 18 months and the Rural electrification corporation has funded Rs. 10 crore for its construction.
Subramanya S, the director of NIKISA Dementia Village said, “There is no exclusive dementia centre in India. But the patients need care and we focus on behavioural aspect. We give residential care which costs around Rs 60,000/month.”
Dementia patients have difficulty in performing daily activities like remembering names, socializing. However, the absence of government-run dementia centres in India is making it difficult for families to afford the cost.