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Monday, September 22, 2008

Need for a safety net, the Hindu India, by Hendi Lingiah


Online edition of India's National Newspaper

Sunday, Sep 21, 2008
As we become an ‘ageing country’, there is an urgent need for an accurate public health policy in the senior care field.

Challenges ahead:
To provide organised healthcare for the elderly.

The percentage of persons aged above 60 in India has been rising steadily over the last decades. In fact, in 2001, its proportion exceeded 7.5 per cent, defining a country as an “ageing country” according to the U.N. definition and is exp ected to reach 8.9 per cent in 2016. But the increase of life expectancy goes with the increase of age-related diseases and developing countries are not spared. The number of people above the age of 60, suffering and searching for care, domiciliary services, specific treatments and specific answers to their needs will increase. Consecutively, the lack of specific structures would lead to discontent. Hence the need to implement a sound public health policy in the field of senior care.

Today, it is estimated that more than 50 per cent of people with Alzheimer’s Disease live in developing countries. Meanwhile, when developed countries have more care alternatives available for a less number of elderly people, they are also trying to improve the current public health system with the aim of anticipating their growing ageing population.

My interest in Alzheimer’s Disease started when I joined an NGO established in the field of senior citizen’s welfare, well known at that time for opening a township for retired people wishing to live an autonomous and still active retreat. This township included a small structure devoted to elderly people affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a nice residential set-up of eight comfortable rooms with bathroom and one common activity room; it was located in a rural part of India. That premise needed to be developed and enhanced; routine, assessments and residents’ health care, even material aspects, had to be looked after.

Thoughtful set-up
We started working with doctors and psychiatrists and in cooperation with them and the team we did the follow-up of patients, the interviews with families, the local staff supervisions… It was an interesting professional experience; it broadened my mind and my interest in the field of ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease and implementing a psycho-social care approach in a 24x7 small residential setting for patients suffering from AD. But above all, it was about making this place a comfortable and enjoyable home for the frail elderly, maintaining as long as possible their abilities and a community life.

Back in France, I’ve stayed connected with the senior care field in India. These days, it seems to me that ageing and care for the elderly have really become an issue for the people and the institutions of the country. For instance, the training provided by the National Institute of Social Defence and supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment shows a commitment from the government to face that challenge. Hopefully, with the joint effort of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the government will maintain a constant pace, be vigilant to elder abuse, set-up official guidelines and implement strict standards in the care of elderly people.

A necessity
Properly planning and the implementation of a public health policy regarding support for the elderly has today become a necessity: the recognition of the early symptoms of dementia, patterns of interventions, research on the diseases, drug and non-drug therapies, infrastructures, professional practices, home caregivers trainings…

This is the challenge for developing countries, if they want to avoid, in the coming years, the increase in the number of sick elderly persons and severe cases due to insufficient early detection and solutions provided at an affordable cost.

The author is an AARDSI member and a clinical psychologist in France.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ARDSI 2008, XIV conference : Dementia Care and Research : a roadmap for India 27-28 Sept. 2008

Indian Institute of Science, BANGALORE

  • Clinical aspects of Dementia
  • Advances in treatment of Dementia
  • Genetics of Dementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Early diagnosis of Dementia
  • Community Care & Services
  • Rehabilitation
  • Training & Research
  • Medico legal and social aspects of Dementia
  • Networking & Advocacy


Date: 27/09/2008 -
Hall 1: For Clinicians - Convener - Dr.Ratnavalli E

Time Program
9.00-10.30 AM

9.00-9.20 A) Introduction to the conference

1) Dementia - An Emerging Public Health Problem Dr.J Roy

9.20-10.30 B) Session 1 - Symposia

Clinical aspects of dementia
9.25-9.50 1) Approach to dementia Ratnavalli E
9.50-10.15 2) Differential Diagnosis Suvarna A
10.15-10.30 3) Q & D

10.30.-11.10 C) Plenary Carol Brayne

1) From Biology to Policy- Lessons from long duration

2) Epidemological studies on Ageing

11.10-11.30 TEA

11.30- 1.00 D) Session 2 - Symposia

Diagnosis of dementia
11.30-11.55 1) Higher mental function assessment in the clinic Nehru R
11.55-12.20 2) Neuropsychological testing dementia diagnosis Dutt A
12.20-12.45 3) Neuroimaging in dementia Ravi Shankar
12.45-1.00 4) Q & D

1-00-2.00 LUNCH and Poster Viewing

2.00-3.00 E) Panel

Presentation of 3 Difficult Cases - Discussion

3.00-3.15 Tea

3.15-4.30 F) Session3- Symposia

1) 10/66 or epidemiological studies in India Mathew V and Martin Prince

5.00 - 6.30 G) Inaguration
8.00 PM Dinner

Date: 28/09/2008 -
Hall 1: For Clinicians - Convener - Dr.Ratnavalli E

Time Program
8.30-10.30 Session 4- Symposia

Rx of Dementia
8.30-8.55 1) Drug RX of dementia Mathew V
8.55-9.20 2) Rx of BPSD Srikala
9.20-9.45 3) Emerging therapies Manjari T
9.45-10.10 4) Non pharmacological interventions Nilanjana M
10.10-10.30 5) Q & D

10.30-10.45 Tea

10.45-11.25 Plenary session 2

Developing a National Strategy - Experiences from a Small Island Sube Banerjee

11.25-1.00 Session 5- Symposia

11.25-11.50 1) MCI Pinto C
11.50-12.15 2) Towards an Early Diagnosis Ralph Martin
12.15-12.40 3) Genetics of Dementia O.Mukherjee
12.40-1.00 4) Q & D

1.00-1.50 LUNCH

1.50-2.50 For Awards

1) Platform presentations

2.50-3.50 Panel discussion

1) Difficult cases - Problems in Management Ravi Nehru, Shaji, Mathew, Pinto

3.50-4.05 Tea

4.05-5.00 Session6- Symposia

Medicolegal issues in Dementia

1) Presentation & Interactive session Mr.Shiv Kumar

5.00-5.30 Valedictory function

Date: 27/09/2008 -
Hall 2: For Caregivers - Convener - Dr.Srikala Bharath

Time Program

9.00-9.20 common session in Hall 1

9.30-10.30 B) Session 1 - Panel Discussion

Difficulties in consultation process
9.30-9.45 1) Recognizing early symptoms and seeking help Murali Mohan
9.45-10.00 2) Issues in disclosure of diagnosis P.T.Sivakumar
10.00-10.15 3) Medical treatment of dementia S.Shaji
10.15-10.30 4) Sharing of Experience by care givers

10.30.-11.10 C) Plenary session

Common session in Hall 1

11.10-11.30 TEA

11.30- 1.00 D) Session 2 - Symposia

Dementia care services - Developed and developing countries
11.25-11.55 1) Dementia care services in developed countries Frank Schappe
11.55-12.20 2) Specialized services for dementia care - Indian Scenario Murali T
12.20-12.45 3) Home based care - Indian Scenario Radha Murthy
12.45-1.00 4) Discussion

1-00-2.00 LUNCH and Poster Viewing

2.00-3.00 E) Session 3 - Workshop

Cognitive & Behavioural approaches in dementia care Anand

3.00-3.15 Tea

3.15-4.30 F) Session 4 - Symposium

Coping with dementia
3.15-3.35 1) Emotional problems in caregivers Om Prakash
3.35-3.55 2) Stress Management for caregivers Seema Mehrotra
3.55-4.15 3) Cargiver's role in functional rehabilitation Krithika S
4.15-4.30 4) Discussion

Date: 28/09/2008 -
Hall 2: For Caregivers - Convener - Dr.Srikala Bharath

Time Program

9.00-10.30 Session 5 - Symposia

AYUSH Interventions in Mild cognitive impairment & Dementia
9.00-9.15 1) Yoga Therapy Hariprasad
9.15-9.30 2) Ayurveda Hemant Kumar Gupta
9.30-9.45 3) Homeopathy S Gopinadhan
9.45 - 10.00 4) Siddha Siva P
10.00-10.15 5) Unani Faculty from National Institute of Unani, Bangalore
10.15-10.30 6) Discussion

10.30-10.45 Tea

10.45-11.25 Plenary session 2

common session in Hall 1

11.25-1.00 Session 6- Symposia

Networking, Advocacy & Research
11.25-11.50 1) Advocacy& Developing resources - Role of NGO's Shailesh Mishra
11.50-12.15 2) Networking NGO's in dementia care Ali Khwaja
12.15-12.40 3) Participation in research - Tissue banking and Ethical issues S. K. Shankar
12.40-1.00 4) Discussion

1.00-1.50 LUNCH

2.00 - 3.30pm Session 7 - Workshop

Community services in Dementia Geeta Oommen & Rajini


Common session in Hall 1

Bangalore, call for an Exclusive Care Facility for Dementia. Karnataka, India.

Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Society of India, Bangalore Chapter is a non-profit organization registered in 2006, the Centenary year of Alzheimer’s. This Chapter is affiliated to Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) which has 14 chapters across the Country. The Bangalore Chapter is promoted by Nightingales Medical Trust.

Unlike other diseases, dementia affects not only the patients but devastates the families as well. It is unfortunate that Bangalore, the Pensioners Paradise of India, where over 30,000 elders are estimated to be affected by dementia, still does not have an exclusive care facility for dementia. Awareness too is lacking.

The website address for the ardsibangalore chapter is