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Friday, December 9, 2011

The PUNE Declaration on Dementia in India. 16th ARDSI national Conference, INDIA.

The Pune Declaration on “Dementia-

the need for a national strategy

and a Call for Action”-2011


Whereas, the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of 
India(ARDSI), is a national organization dedicated to the care, 
support and research of dementia in the country and is a full 
member of the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), 
which seeks to improve the quality of life of people with dementia 
and their caregivers and particularly to raise awareness 
about the disease.

We make this Declaration to increase awareness of the 
rapidly increasing prevalence of dementia in India, 
to support the rights of persons with dementia and 
their family members and caregivers, and to call for action.

For the purpose of this Document, dementia is defined 
as a chronic, progressive and terminal disorder involving 
deterioration in multiple areas of cognitive functioning, 
and one often associated with behavioural, psychological 
and functional impairment;

We note the number of persons over the age of 60 years and 
older who suffer from dementia in India is an estimated 3.7 million 
in the year 2010, with 2.1 million women and 1.5 million men 
affected by it.[1]

We observe and stress, the devastating and debilitating 
impact of dementia on the individuals suffering from it, the families 
and caregivers of these individuals and society in general, 
robbing the afflicted persons primarily of their Dignity and Self- Respect, 
of their memory, cognitive functioning, their ability to carry out 
their daily chores and participate in community life, burdening families 
and society with the intense costs, both direct and indirect, 
 of health and social care related to dementia;

We observe with concern that the healthcare needs of persons 
afflicted by dementia are not recognized separately 
from the other mental health care needs of older persons, 
that these are not accorded the priority in government 
planning and programmes, and that India does not have a 
separate national policy on dementia and neither a national 
strategy on the same;

We acknowledge the declaration adopted by the International 
Longevity Centers- Global Alliance (ILC-GA) partners at 
Cape Town in 2010 and the foresight of the governments 
that have implemented the National Plans for 
Alzheimer’s Related Disorders or the National Strategy for Dementia.

We affirm the human rights of all persons, within the context 
of this document, emphasise the human rights of the 
older persons with disabilities. We recall the International 
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which 
recognizes the right to ‘the enjoyment of the highest 
attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ 

We also recall the Convention on the Rights of 
Persons with Disabilities which obligates State Parties
to implement measures to promote and protect the rights of 
persons with disabilities including dementia;

We also note that the Planning Commission as well as the 
revised National Policy on Older Persons of India have taken 
cognizance of the issue of Dementia and have suggested 
concrete measures to address the issues and concerns of 
people affected by dementia;

We invite all the stakeholders of the cause of population ageing
at the state and national levels to support and adopt this 
Pune Declaration on Dementia and strengthen cooperation 
in addressing dementia and its impact.

Now, therefore, the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India

Proclaims this Pune Declaration on “Dementia- the need for a 
national strategy of India” to be a call for action from all levels 
of government, and for civil society, academia, communities and 
individuals to promote and protect the rights of persons with 
dementia as well as the rights of their family members and 
caregivers, by: 

1. Engaging in a multidisciplinary dialogue to establish 
a common framework of standards for the prevention, 
diagnosis and treatment of dementia;
Urging the government to develop and implement national 
integrated policies and plans of action dedicated to dementia, 
including a national strategy on dementia, as well as 
comprehensive policies and plans of action on ageing 
which incorporate dementia;

3. Urging increased funding by governmental and non 
governmental sources of research on all aspects of dementia 
and associated caregiving;

4. Requesting and urging pharmaceutical companies to supply 
affordable dementia medications;

5. Urging the government to support the provisions for the training 
of healthcare professionals in geriatrics in general, and in dementia in
particular and also to enhance the dementia screening and 
diagnostic skills;

6. Supporting efforts of governmental and nongovernmental bodies 
to create awareness on healthy ageing, and measures to prevent or 
delay the onset of dementia;

7. Urging the media to enhance qualitative advocacy of the cause of 
population ageing in general, and of dementia, in particular;

8. Supporting the efforts of governmental and nongovernmental 
organizations to reduce the discrimination and isolation of people 
affected by dementia.

9. Providing support, including training and respite care services, 
to informal caregivers of older persons with dementia.

ARDSI National and all State Chapters
Chaitanya Mental Health Care Centre, Pune
International Longevity Centre-India (ILC-I)
27th November 2011

[1] The Dementia India Report 2010 (Prevalence, Impact, Costs and Services for Dementia) of ARDSI.

Alzheimer’s Society India (ARDSI) Greater Mumbai: The Pune Declaration on “Dementia- the need for a ...: Preamble Whereas , the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India(ARDSI), is a national organization dedicated to the care, s...

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