Advocacy

A one day Roundtable on “Dementia- The Situation and Implications in India” was organized by ILC-I with the support of Gharda Chemicals on the 6th of July 2017 in Pune.

The Roundtable was attended by experts in this area of dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Dr. Jacob Roy Kuriakose, the former President of the Alzheimers Disease International was the Chief Guest.

The programme was organized with a view to understanding the scenario in India on the issue of Alzheimers and Dementia, a topic, about which not much is known due to the lack of awareness in the country. Dementia in India, is often mistakenly confused as old age forgetfulness, thus overlooking the fact that this problem is much more grave and serious than mere old age related benevolent forgetfulness.

Leading experts working actively in this field like Mr. Sailesh Mishra of Silver Innings which runs a dementia care home for seniors afflicted with dementia, spoke on “Caregiving Services & Issues of Caregivers”, Mr. Prakash Borgaonkar, Director of HelpAge India, presented an overview on the “National Scenario on Dementia- the HelpAge Perspective, Dr. Nidhi Gupta, TISS, spoke on “The need for Policy & Strategy on Dementia in India”, Dr. Vinod Shah, Founder-President, Janaseva Foundation, spoke on “Dementia & the Rural Elderly”, Ms. Mangala Joglekar, a gerontologist who runs a memory clinic for such patients at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, shared her “Perspectives on Caregiving”, Dr. Alka Vyas, who counsels dementia patients and their families, shared the perspectives of the Senior citizens’ Organisations and the Gender Perspective too; the eminent psychiatrist from Pune, Dr. Hemant Chandorkar who spoke on “Process of Ageing- the associated problems”.

Dr. S. Siva Raju, Dy. Director, TISS, who Chaired the Sessions urged the different stakeholders in this field to come together work on making the issue of dementia, a national priority in our country, given the rise in numbers of those afflicted by it. He also said that there should be different policies for different illnesses of the older persons and not just one umbrella policy and he also emphasized that the policies should be revised periodically.

The Roundtable concluded with the Closing Remarks by Mr. Jayant Umranikar, the Chairman of ILC-I, who also stressed on studying the use of simple indigenous Indian herbs from the ancient science of Ayurveda, to prevent and treat dementia.

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