Bengaluru: When kin forgot to call on dementia patients

When kin forgot to call on dementia patients, NGO looks up to youngsters

Representative image.

When a caregivers’ meet was organised for dementia patients being cared for at centres across the city, a few from their homes turned up to meet them. The few that came were either their children or someone older, but not the grandchildren.

It was then that a teen realised that she needs to do something to get more youth involved in dementia patients’ care. She and another girl then decided to  start a group for the purpose.

Prarthana Anand, one of the founders of Youth for Dementia, said she was moved by the incident, and it prompted her to start the group, which today has over 40 volunteers.

“People are left in the facilities and they have only the nurses to interact with. To see no grandchildren turn up to meet them was heartbreaking. Hence we decided to call more youngsters to meet people with dementia and spend time with them,” said Prarthana.

Citing that most people had a busy schedule and saw nearly no involvement, she added: “They spent much of their energy to keep their children where they are. Getting involved with patient is important,” she said.

Her co-founder Lydia Priyadarshini is pursuing masters in the subject.

Having worked at a dementia centre in the past, she found a similar trend. “There were about 25 patients at the centre. Usually, the families came visiting. It did not, on most occasions involve grandchildren,” said Priyadarshini.

“Currently 5.12 million people in India are diagnosed with dementia and by 2030 this is expected to double. It is an emerging epidemic. At one point in time, every single one of us is going to know somebody that has dementia. Dementia not only affects the person but also leaves an impact on the family,” she added.

Working with Nightingales Medical Trust, Youth for Dementia has also organised a marathon on February 21.

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