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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

World Alzheimer’s Day: Patients, their families struggle due to lack of facilities

By Riddhi Doshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 21, 2014 

Every day, Maya Sahadevan has to beg and plead to get her mother into the bathroom for her morning bath. "When she does go in, she just sits there, staring at the ceiling, and often walks out without having had a bath," says Maya, 40, a private tutor in Mumbai.

It may not seem like much, but for Maya, the daily battle over the bath is a sign of further deterioration as her 69-year-old mother slips deeper into her dementia, her personality changing, her memories fading, and simple everyday tasks becoming insurmountable hurdles. 






Maya’s mother was diagnosed with dementia four years ago. "Our first clue that something was wrong was in 2012, when she started saying the same thing again and again," she says. Maya took her to a psychiatrist, where she was diagnosed with dementia. She now spends most of the day sleeping, or staring.

"We stay home with her all the time," says Maya. "It’s hard to juggle housework, my afternoon tutorial classes, and also try and care for her." Lately, the Sahadevans have been looking for help, but it’s been a frustrating search.

Dementia — an umbrella term for a wide range of degenerative mental conditions, the most commonly known being Alzheimer’s — causes long-term loss of the ability to think and reason. Patients need constant supervision, and specialised care. Even in megalopolises like Mumbai and Delhi, such care is almost impossible to find.

"Ideally, a person with dementia should have access to trained caregivers who understand the disease and its patients’ behaviour. This is hard to find in India," says Mona Mishra, a counsellor at dementia care home A1 Snehanjali

In Mumbai, for instance, there is just one day care centre for senior citizens with dementia, run by the Dignity Foundation. And there are just two residencies — A1 Snehanjali in Nallasopara, which can accommodate 13 people, and Dignity Lifestyle, which can accommodate 24. 

Delhi has one day-care centre and one home. "We currently just have four facilities across the country — two in Mumbai, one in Kochi and one in Bangalore. That is far too low," says Mona. "More needs to be done by NGOs and the government, to spread awareness about dementia and provide affordable care infrastructure."

There is little support for the families of those with dementia either.

Alzheimer's: Four signs to watch out for






"We need more awareness camps to help family members understand the disease and learn how to care for their loved ones. The importance of such awareness cannot be overemphasised," says Sailesh Mishra, founder and director of Silver Inning Foundation, an NGO that works with senior citizen and runs the A1 Snehanjali dementia residency home.

"This becomes especially important in a country like ours, where there are not nearly enough residencies and where the cost of those that do exist is also not affordable to all."

At Sea:
According to the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI), nearly 3.7 million people in India suffer from dementia — a number that is set to double every 15 years.  "The disease is not curable, but certain lifestyle modifications like engaging in physical activities and cognitive tasks; eating right; socialising and managing stress can delay onset of the disease," says Dr Manjari Tripathi, president of the Delhi chapter of ARDSI.

Poor awareness and the stigma that still attaches to mental disease adds to the problem, says Alka Subramanyam, assistant professor of psychiatry at Mumbai’s government-run Nair hospital, which runs a memory clinic that offers testing and offers counselling to patients and their families. "We definitely need more care infrastructure. The lack of it accounts to a great loss, either direct or indirect, to caregivers."

With little to no infrastructure available, caregivers suffer almost as much as the patients, says Sailesh. "It is hard enough to cope with the fact that a loved one is no longer in control of themselves. It is even harder to then try and care for that person by yourself, while also juggling the demands of children and earning a livelihood."

Even those lucky enough to find full-time care must find a way to pay for it — an average of Rs. 45,000 a month. A residency charges Rs. 30,000 a month, excluding the cost of medicines. In the absence of a residency slot, a trained caregiver costs Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000 per eight-hour shift.

"A few Facebook pages are trying to spreading awareness and share information and tips on dealing with dementia in loved ones," adds Mishra. "But it remains a lonely struggle."

The Sahadevans from Mumbai are currently in the midst of that lonely struggle. "We considered leaving my mother at a day care centre for seniors with dementia, but haven’t yet been able to find a slot in the city," says Maya. "We are so confused; we don’t know where to go or what to do and it’s not just taking a toll on us, but also on Ma."

(With inputs from Rhythma Kaul)

Courtesy:  http://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/wellness/world-alzheimer-s-day-lack-of-help-care-in-india-for-patients/article1-1266659.aspx


Thursday, September 18, 2014

World Alzheimer Report 2014

World Alzheimer Report 2014 Reveals Persuasive Evidence For Dementia Risk Reduction

Dementia risk for populations can be modified through tobacco control and better prevention, detection and control of hypertension and diabetes.

 




The World Alzheimer Report 2014 ‘Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors’, released today, calls for dementia to be integrated into both global and national public health programmes alongside other major non communicable diseases (NCDs).

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) commissioned a team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London, to produce the report. ADI is publishing this report, in conjunction with World Alzheimer's Day™ (21 September) and as a part of World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma.

The report reveals that control of diabetes and high blood pressure as well as measures to encourage smoking cessation and to reduce cardiovascular risk, have the potential to reduce the risk of dementia even in late-life. The report found that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia by 50%. Obesity and lack of physical activity are important risk factors for diabetes and hypertension, and should, therefore, also be targeted.

While cardiovascular health is improving in many high income countries, many low and middle income countries show a recent pattern of increasing exposure to cardiovascular risk factors, with rising rates of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Smoking cessation is strongly linked in the report with a reduction in dementia risk. For example, studies of dementia incidence among people aged 65 years and over show that ex-smokers have a similar risk to those who have never smoked, while those who continue to smoke are at much higher risk.

Furthermore, the study revealed that those who have had better educational opportunities have a lower risk of dementia in late-life. Evidence suggests that education has no impact on the brain changes that lead to dementia, but reduces their impact on intellectual functioning.

The evidence in the report suggest that if we enter old age with better developed, healthier brains we are likely to live longer, happier and more independent lives, with a much reduced chance of developing dementia. Brain health promotion is important across the life span, but particularly in mid-life, as changes in the brain can begin decades before symptoms appear.

The study also urges NCD programs to be more inclusive of older people, with the message that it’s never too late to make a change, as the future course of the global dementia epidemic is likely to depend crucially upon the success or failure of efforts to improve global public health, across the population. Combining efforts to tackle the increasing global burden of NCDs will be strategically important, efficient and cost effective. Leading a healthier lifestyle is a positive step towards preventing a range of long-term diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

However, survey data released by Bupa* has shown that many people are unclear about the causes and actions they can take to potentially reduce their risk of dementia. Just over a sixth (17%) of people realised that social interaction with friends and family could impact on the risk. Only a quarter (25%) identified being overweight as a possible factor, and only one in five (23%) said physical activity could affect the risk of developing dementia and losing their memories. The survey also revealed that over two thirds (68%) of people surveyed around the world are concerned about getting dementia in later life.

Professor Martin Prince, from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and author of the report, commented: “There is already evidence from several studies that the incidence of dementia may be falling in high income countries, linked to improvements in education and cardiovascular health. We need to do all we can to accentuate these trends. With a global cost of over US$ 600 billion, the stakes could hardly be higher.”

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International said: “From a public health perspective, it is important to note that most of the risk factors for dementia overlap with those for the other major non communicable diseases (NCDs). In high income countries, there is an increased focus on healthier lifestyles, but this is not always the case with lower and middle income countries. By 2050, we estimate that 71% of people living with dementia will live in these regions, so implementing effective public health campaigns may help to reduce the global risk.”

Professor Graham Stokes, Global Director of Dementia Care, Bupa, said: “While age and genetics are part of the disease’s risk factors, not smoking, eating more healthily, getting some exercise, and having a good education, coupled with challenging your brain to ensure it is kept active, can all play a part in minimising your chances of developing dementia. People who already have dementia, or signs of it, can also do these things, which may help to slow the progression of the disease.”


The full report can be found here: www.alz.co.uk/worldreport2014


About Alzheimer’s Disease International
ADI is the international federation of 84 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk


About King’s College London
King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world (2013/14 QS World University Rankings) and the fourth oldest in England. It is The Sunday Times 'Best University for Graduate Employment 2012/13'. King's has nearly 26,000 students (of whom more than 10,600 are graduate students) from some 140 countries worldwide, and more than 7,000 staff. The College is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £590 million. www.kcl.ac.uk


About Bupa
Bupa’s purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives.
As a leading international healthcare group, we offer health insurance and medical subscription products, run care homes, retirement villages, hospitals, primary care centres and dental clinics. We also provide workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and long-term condition management services.
We have over 22 million customers in 190 countries. With no shareholders, we invest our profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil our purpose.
We employ more than 70,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and Chile, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and the USA.
Bupa is the largest international provider of specialist dementia care, caring for more than 24,000 residents with dementia. For more information, visit www.bupa.com



Friday, August 22, 2014

Panel to Protect Elders in India

ANANYA SENGUPTA
New Delhi, Aug. 21: The government is planning to set up a commission for the country’s hundred million senior citizens who would finally have a forum they can call their own to voice complaints of abuse and negligence.

The draft National Commission for Senior Citizens Bill, 2014 — which the social justice ministry has sent to several NGOs — gives the proposed panel powers to “investigate” all matters relating to safeguards provided for senior citizens.

At present, matters concerning those who are 60 and above are addressed through the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Through this act, the elderly can seek maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the National Policy for Older Persons, 1990.

What the draft bill proposes is an exclusive panel with powers of a civil court to look after the legal and societal rights of senior citizens.

The proposal for such an empowered panel has come four years after a committee appointed by the ministry in 2010 to review the 1990 policy recommended one where the elderly could file complaints.

“We had recommended such commissions should exist at the central as well as the state level. We have about 104 million elderly in the country and by 2050 the number will be 320 million,” said K.R. Gangadharan, global president of the International Federation on Ageing and a member of the 2010 committee.

The proposed bill — a copy is with The Telegraph — says the functions of the commission will include taking cognisance of matters related to “deprivation of senior citizens’ rights”. According to the draft, the commission will have all the powers of a civil court to access public records and “summon” witnesses from “any part of India and examining him on oath”.

Gangadharan said he understood the concerns of those who think the panel would be “another of the several toothless commissions we already have”.

“But something is better than nothing. The aspect of elderly abuse needs much more consultations. Unlike in the West, parents in India don’t want to bring charges against their children even when they are abused. The commission will address this problem,” he said, adding that activists would recommend a provision for “compensation”.

None of the commissions in the country, except the National Human Rights Commission, has the power to compensate victims.

According to the bill, the proposed commission would also have the powers to:

• Periodically inspect jails or remand homes where the aged might be kept as prisoners, or otherwise, to ensure there are no rights violations;

• Fund litigation involving issues affecting a large body of senior citizens; and

• Appoint committees to identify factors that affect the elderly.

Finally, this one is for those who think the elderly have outlived their utility: the panel will propose ways to increase the productivity of senior citizens.

Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140822/jsp/nation/story_18747431.jsp#.U_bJT2IaySM

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Senior citizens take the sting out of mosquito menace

Dahisar, Mumbai senior citizens take the sting out of mosquito menace.

20-member team, formed by BMC, detects over a hundred breeding spots in the western suburbs. Municipal corporation plans to introduce project in other wards too.

In a bid to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in homes and housing societies, as well as to spread awareness about preventing dengue and malaria, the BMC last month roped in senior citizens for the task in a pilot project at Dahisar.

The move followed complaints from BMC's staff, who said they face problems in entering flats to carry out inspections as people, particularly in high-rises, are reluctant to let them in. But, as people are familiar with senior citizen of their societies, they let them enter their homes.

The 20-member team at Dahisar detected over a hundred breeding spots in their vicinity since joining the campaign, and will now continue in other areas of the locality too. With the move proving a success, BMC plans to introduce it in other wards as well.

The project was launched early July, and the senior citizens were trained by health officials of BMC's R-North Ward, on how to detect as well as prevent breeding spots. The volunteers were also taught to identify various types of mosquitoes and the diseases they cause, including the symptoms of dengue and malaria. The training included a documentary on prevention of vector borne diseases. Once done, they were asked to visit homes, point out breeding spots and make residents aware of how to prevent diseases.

"Dengue and malaria has always been an issue in our locality. Most cases are reported from high-rises where mosquitoes breed in flower pots, AC ducts, etc," said local Shiv Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre.

"Most homes are shut during the day when BMC's staff are on inspection rounds, and even if people are at home they don't let them in. But, as they recognise senior citizen of their societies, they welcome them," Mhatre said. "Residents think that breeding sites are far away from their own premises, hence this initiative has made a huge difference to BMC's efforts," Mhatre added.

Following the onset of monsoon, the Public Health Department created a mascot named 'Machchar Man' and put up hundreds of posters featuring him across the city. The posters, in Hindi and Marathi, drew attention to vector-borne diseases and how to control and prevent them. Seeking the help of senior citizens is part of BMC's larger anti-mosquito campaign.

"It was a good experience. As we've been living here for years, most people knew us. So when we knocked on doors, they let us in," said volunteer Bhupendra Chitalia, 72, a businessman from Anand Nagar in Dahisar.

"Most residents were unaware that they were breeding mosquitoes in their homes. We discovered many spots in AC ducts, decorative pots, vases and fish tanks. Most residents willingly got rid of such items, others promised to do so. We also urged children to take up the responsibility of destroying breeding spots, and made them understand the importance of keeping the premises clean," said Shyam Patel, 65, a resident of Riddhi Siddhi Apartments in Dahisar's CF Complex.

"The only way to prevent dengue and malaria is by clearing all breeding sites. This is possible only if residents back us," a BMC official said. "The senior citizens drive has been a success, we are likely introduce it in other wards too."  


Source:  http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/civic/Dahisar-senior-citizens-take-the-sting-out-of-mosquito-menace/articleshow/40312304.cms

Government working on Transgender and Senior Citizens Policy

The government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to pursue implementation of the recommendations of an Expert Committee, seeking "third gender" status for transgenders, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat, in a written in Lok Sabha said the key recommendation of the Committee formed by the government was that the transgender should be declared as third gender.

He said the other recommendations include access to health-care, educational opportunities at all levels without stigma and discrimination, formulation of umbrella schemes and others. The Supreme Court in its judgment had directed the Centre and state governments to take steps for framing various social welfare schemes for betterment of transgender persons, take proper measures to provide medical care, hospital and others.

"The expert committee has recommended a state level authority duly designated or constituted by the respective states/UTs on the lines of Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board. "An Inter-Ministerial committee has been constituted to pursue implementation of Expert Committee's recommendations," Bhagat said.

The minister said the Court has further directed to examine the recommendations of the Expert Committee based on legal declaration made in its judgement and implement them.

Replying to another question, he said that "keeping in view the socio-cultural-economic and technological developments in the last decade, the National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 is being revised by the department of Social Justice and Empowerment to include promotion of measures to create avenues for continuity in employment or post retirement opportunities for senior citizens".

Bhagat said the NPOP, 1999 recognises that 60 plus phase of life is a huge untapped resource and proposes that facilities be provided to senior citizens so that their potential is utilised.

To carry forward the spirit of the policy, various programmes like computer training for senior citizens, school programme for inter-generational bonding are being carried out.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-expert-committtee-for-grant-of-third-gender-status-to-transgenders-formed-2010186

India: National Commission for elderly may soon be a reality

The ministry of social justice and welfare has proposed the formation
of a national commission for senior citizens to better protect the
rights of the elderly.





India's elderly population, 60 years and above, was close to 10.4
crore, according to the 2011 census. It is expected to touch 32 crore by
2050. The need for a senior citizens' commission is tremendous, say
activists, who have been demanding the formation of such a commission
since 2010. On February 7, a Parliamentary standing committee report had
recommended the formation of the commission for senior citizens.




The draft bill for the National Commission for Senior Citizens lists
the proposed commission's responsibilities. These involve looking into
matters of deprivation of senior citizens' rights, taking suo moto
cognisance of their human rights violations and making recommendations
to relevant authorities to take action. The proposed commission will
inspect old-age homes, prisons and remand homes to see if their rights
are being violated.


"While we already have a commission for children and another one for
women, the elderly, whose population is touching 12 crore, do not have a
commission. The proposal for forming a commission is a welcome move,"
said Dr Aabha Chaudhary, chairperson, Anugraha, a Delhi-based non-profit
for the elderly.




Anugraha is one of the 17 organisations and individuals to have
received an email, a copy of which is with dna, from the ministry of
social justice and welfare that contains the five-page draft bill. Among
the other recipients are Dignity Foundation, Tata Institute of Social
Sciences and HelpAge. The August 12 mail from the ministry's deputy
secretary Surendra Rawat, says, "You are requested to furnish your
comments/suggestions on the draft Bill by August 20 positively through
e-mail, failing which it will be presumed that you have no comments to
offer."




This has irked some activists who feel the draft bill should be
widely circulated for diverse opinions to help constitute a stronger
commission. For instance, the ministry has ignored one of the biggest
elderly confederations — All India Senior Citizens Confederation.
AISCCON has a membership of over 15 lakh senior citizens. Similarly,
members of the National Council of Senior Citizens, which was formed by
the Central government, too were left out of the consultation.




"All NGOs, federations, geriatricians, senior citizens, legal
professionals, women, youth should be consulted before the finalisation
of a draft bill," said Dr SP Kinjawadekar, ex-president, AISCCON. "We
never received any communication regarding the formation of the National
Commission from the ministry. Also eight days notice is too short for a
response. The dates should be extended."




Experts said that the commission should have teeth and all stake
holders should be consulted before it's formation. "While the number for
elder abuse cases are rising especially in the rural areas, the
Maintenance and Welfare Act for Senior Citizens, 2007 is yet to
percolate to the last person. A commission will define the roles to be
played by NGOs, police and the ministry and act as a nodal agency for
redress of complaints," said Sailesh Mishra, founder, Silver Inning
Foundation.






Courtesy: DNA    : http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-national-commission-for-elderly-may-soon-be-a-reality-2011104

National Commission for elderly may soon be a reality | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Retirement villages for the elderly helping to deliver high quality of life

The sellout success of almost every new launch is testament to that. In reality, it is probably time for the Government to listen to calls from the industry for new, more flexible planning rules when it comes to retirement properties.
express uk, property, homes, gardens, apartment, family, kitchens, development, retirement villages
After all, purpose-built new retirement villages, often with care homes at their centre, not only help to relieve local authorities of some of the demands placed on them by an ageing population but also free up much-needed family homes. Average life expectancy in the UK has risen to 78.7 years for men and 82.6 years for women, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Many of these older people are stuck in oversized, unmanageable homes that they would dearly like to sell if they could find somewhere suitable to live. The idea is that retirees swap older, high-maintenance homes with oversized gardens for hassle-free, modern architecture, giving them an easy life with concierges and care facilities on hand. The new generation of retirement village developers is addressing just this need.
One example is Wadswick Green, a contemporary retirement village in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside which will provide some reasonably affordable units as well as aspiration new homes for the over-60s. Prices start at £290,000. In what is a new departure for the market, these homes are also being aimed at a younger generation of 40 and 50-year-olds who, as of next April, will be able to control their pensions instead of having to buy an annuity.
It is expected that a good number of such people will opt for a buy-to-let property to supplement or even provide their pension. So why not a retirement home? There is a good rental market for them and, as Wadswick Green developer Rangeford Holdings suggests, investors may even eventually move into their investment property. 
Peter Ford, chairman of Rangeford Holdings, said: “Older people are likely to be investing in property with their newly freed-up annuity cash following the Government’s recent reform and Wadswick Green is providing them with an opportunity to take stock of their changing living requirements and move to a stunning location and have a high quality of life.
“We expect interest from the baby boomer generation who own 40 per cent of the £2.5trillion tied-up in property.”

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