On the eve of World Alzheimer’s Day, Dignity Foundation announced the launch of their fifth dementia day care centre in Kolkata, along with the inauguration of the National Alliance for Dementia Care (NADC), a crucial initiative aimed at raising awareness, establishing care standards, and advocating for improved policies to support individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
The launching announcement was made in the presence of esteemed speakers, including Alokananda Roy, renowned social activist and Dignity Foundation brand ambassador; Gopal Srinivasan, trustee of Dignity Foundation; Arpita Bhattacharya, vice president of The Rasoi Group; Ruma Chatterjee, Kolkata Chapter Head of Dignity Foundation, and Sudeshna Saha, Gerontologist.
Dementia is a silently rising epidemic in India. By 2050, 11.44 million people in India are expected to be living with dementia, up from 3.84 million in 2019, according to the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet Public Health. Due to the unavailability of any medical treatment for these cognitive disorders, the next best solution is to provide quality care and management facilities to those living with dementia. India acutely lacks such facilities, be they commercial or subsidised.
Dignity Foundation is a 28-year-old NGO that works for the welfare of senior citizens in India. It is one of the leading non-profit organisations with a heavy focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia among the elderly. Currently, it has five such centres: in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, and now Kolkata.
At these centres, members are made to spend their time doing productive activities like physical exercise, therapy sessions, drawing and colouring, playing or listening to music, etc. While providing an enriching experience to the enrolled members, these centres also provide ‘respite’ to their family members who cannot provide their loved ones with 24×7 care due to their own time commitments or lack of knowledge about handling people living with dementia.
“The launch of this facility in Kolkata is highly beneficial as we will not only provide care but will also raise awareness for timely diagnosis so that those elderly who are living with this condition can be diagnosed and cared for properly, ensuring their dignity,” said Dr. Sheilu Sreenivasan, Founder President, Dignity Foundation.