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 above 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 the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, the treatment at private centres costs around Rs 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per month.
Arun Rana, 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.”
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 our focus is on behavioural aspects. We provide residential care which costs around Rs 60,000/month.”
Dementia patients have difficulty in performing day to day activities like remembering names and socializing. The absence of government-run dementia centres in India is making it difficult for families to afford the cost.