These Alzheimer’s support groups in India will provide to both the patients and the caregivers. (Source: Thinkstock/Getty Images)
One of the most common types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease which can affect one’s memory, thinking and behaviour. It was reported in 2017, that over 4 million people in India suffer from some form of dementia. And Alzheimer’s affects around 1.6 million of them. This number is predicted to triple by 2050.
“Alzheimer’s disease most often begins in people over 65 years of age. The disease accounts for 60-70% of all cases of dementia,” explains Dr K M Hassan, Associate Director of Neurology, Jaypee Hospital, Noida.
Some of the symptoms include a decline in cognitive functions such as forgetfulness, difficulty in thinking and understanding. Difficulty in concentrating, inability to learn new things, inability to do simple calculations and the inability to recognise common things also accounts for some of the other symptoms, says Dr Hassan.
While there’s no sure shot cure for Alzheimer’s, today there are various treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. Most importantly, there are support groups in India that help provide help and a better understanding of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India, Hyderabad
The Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India in Hyderabad (ARDSI) has a centre equipped for persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Speaking to indianexpress.com, the team said “This is for individuals who go through dementia, and Alzheimer’s is a part of dementia. We conduct various cognitive and therapeutic activities for the patients to keep their brain cells active and slow down the progression of the disease. The services we provide are daycare facilities, counseling facilities available for the caregivers and memory tests as well. We also conduct caregiver meetings and visit the homes of people with dementia to understand how we can help them more, in a better way.”
Contact details – +91 96185 27072
Email – [email protected]
Alzheimer’s And Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI), Calcutta Chapter
Like it’s Hyderabad centre, the Calcutta chapter of ARDSI is dedicated to supporting Alzheimer’s patients. Their company website says, “We held awareness and fundraising events for the society to raise awareness about the disease”. They also hold counseling sessions and provide training to the caregivers.
Contact details – +91 9830460306
Echoing Healthy Ageing, Mumbai
After patients are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the organisation offers consultations for family members to help them understand the disease and its effect on patients. “We do therapy for the patients and provide training for professionals and family caregivers. They need to understand how to care for the patients and how to plan for the future as it is a progressive and incurable disease. We conduct a one-hour long consultation with family members, which is more like a training.
They usually come from a doctor, who needs more support to understand the disease. We focus on the quality of life that includes an assessment of one’s life history and abilities. We develop a routine plan for the patients that they can follow every day. Plus, cognitive activities are also part of the treatment.”
Contact details – +91 9167613665
Nightingales Medical Trust, Bengaluru
“We have a support group which helps families with dementia patients. Here, we create awareness about the disease, its symptoms and also have workshops on the behavioural challenges which patients face and how to deal with them.
There’s very little awareness about the disease and families don’t know what to expect, which is why they face challenges in dealing with the patients. They don’t know where to go, whom to take advice from and how to deal with the difficult behavior. We have an agenda each month that we will cover a certain topic like wandering or repetitive behavior or day-to-day challenges,” explained the team.
Contact details – 080 4242 6565
Samvedna Senior Care, Bengaluru
“We provide overall support to the family member which includes training and making caregivers understand what Alzheimer’s or Dementia is. We provide support services like daycare facilities and other activities. We have a huge team that supports these patients, which includes a pediatrician, a physiotherapist and many more, each of whom conducts training sessions every month. We actually ask the patients about their queries and based on their specific needs, we plan the support groups. There’s also an interactive session among the families, who discuss with their problems with each other and share insights on how to deal with the situation. In case someone cannot attend any sessions, which also provide online services for the same.”
Contact details – 0124 422 9659
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