Dementia in Kerala

There are viable measures in place to help people with dementia, but for the caregivers, it is important to provide support. The dementia numbers in Kerala are alarming, with the highest portion of the elderly. Nearly 60% of the population in Kerala is above the age of 60.

Ironically, the prevalence of dementia increased throughout the world as health indices improved and people began to live longer.

At a time when people rarely lived past their 50s or 60s, there was a large young population. “Kerala has a higher proportion of dementia sufferers due to two variables. One is the fraction of the population that is getting older, and the other is keeping population growth under check. This means that the number of infants in the younger population will be lower. Furthermore, many young people from Kerala work outside of the state or country, leaving many middle and upper-class houses with only the elderly. There are numerous elderly homes for dementia patients that act as a saving grace.

This disease tends to occur in the elderly group of people, and Kerala has a higher elderly population compared to the rest of the country. Co-morbidities are one of the major problems for people suffering from dementia.

The handy, helpful measures in place?

According to doctors, sensory simulation in the form of various therapies like aroma, music, and bright light behavioural management, while encouraging social contact and person-centric care, is the key.

Memory, IQ, and personality are all affected by dementia. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to dementia, is the first step. MCI is linked to dementia in one-third of the cases. Medication can assist in slowing the progression of the condition, but non-pharmacological therapy is also important.

Since foolproof methods of treating dementia have not been found, doctors suggest that you delay the on-set as far as possible and escape the worst of it. You may be able to avoid the disease if you live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular 40-minute exercise, calorie control, and avoiding unnecessary stress.An example is that if dementia is expected to arrive at 80, you can push it to 90 with these measures. Developing cognitive resources with intellectual or creative activities in the form of writing or reading is of help. Apart from that, an increased level of awareness is helpful.

An individual who is suffering from dementia will never come forward and say something is wrong with them. The people around them should consider all the symptoms seriously. Often, the diagnosis is made late, and the relatives or friends are not in a position to accept it. A visit to the dementia clinic in Ernakulum will give you an idea of the progression stages of the disease.

The disease of dementia is an issue, as is the care itself. Stories about the care givers turn out to be heart breaking, but they do not gain the attention they deserve. In addition, they require a support system.

Dementia patients can be abusive at times, forgetful enough to pollute the entire house with their faeces or pee. People who look after them, usually family members such as a spouse or child, require assistance. They need regular breaks more than anything else, otherwise the burnout will be too much to endure.

The patient requires a lot of care, unlike the other mental issues. Eventually, it all boils down to who can provide a 24-hour care facility. The responsibility of care often falls on those who are taking care of the patient. Sometimes it can be an elderly spouse who is facing health issues.

Institutional care is not recommended, but community care can be of help at an early stage. In fact, centres for mental health, community and dementia are provided if there is a need. Though in the latter stages, it is recommended that the patients remain in their homes with their families.

It becomes a challenge if the person suffering from dementia also has co-morbidities like heart disease or hypertension. Dementia leads to a loss of planning in accomplishing your daily activities. Even simplest of tasks like going to a bank or paying a bill becomes difficult. Even patients forget their daily medications.