More potential dementia services, products, and community support areas

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In addition to the ideas detailed already, here are some more areas where concerned persons can add useful dementia services, products, and community support.

  • Day Care and Respite Care: These are major areas where we need more facilities. Families living with dementia need help in terms of places where they can place the person with dementia during the day (when they may need to go to work) or for full-time care. Well-designed care facilities can be enriching and engaging for persons with dementia, while also letting the family get some time for other work and responsibilities, or get some respite from care. The work and planning involved is significant, funding is required, and many aspects need to be taken care of. Currently, there are no consolidated guidelines or project proposals that can be used directly in India to get an idea of the scope of work or how to proceed, but existing day care and respite care centres can be approached to get an understanding of what this involves.
    There are some Indian Government programs for establishing center for the elderly which may be useful for centres for persons with demenetia. See page 10, 12-13 of the document at this link and also, a list of government funded NGO list serving elderly at this link.
    Some guidance can be obtained from Alzheimer’s Disease International’s booklet: Planning and design guide for community-based day care centres.
    Also, see these city-wise dementia resource pages to locate any existing day care/ respite care centres in your city/ region, so that you can contact them to understand more about what such facilities involve and what the experiences of the organizers are.
  • Products designed to enable persons with dementia be more independent, or to make care by families smoother: These could range from small devices for early-stage persons who need small aids, to products that can be used to make the home safer and more enabling to persons with dementia, or to help caregivers do the tasks required for care for a bed-ridden person. While some products are available, there is scope for more such products, more imaginative designs, more affordable prices. Helping families know about these is also useful. Also, it may be possible to create some kits or do-it-yourself guidelines for home adaptations or products that can be created using objects easily available to families.
  • Systems and devices to reduce the chance of dementia wandering or increase the chance of finding the person who gets lost: While many products and services have been attempted, nothing completely satisfactory or reliable is available in India. Given that most persons with dementia may wander off and get lost, this is a major area where systems and products can help.
  • Helping families by funding various expenses: Given how expensive care can be and how long it can go on, schemes where people can support families through funding can be designed and coordinated. These could be for home care services and products, or for medicines and doctor fees, or even for other services like transporting someone with dementia from home to hospital when needed. Some such schemes are already being envisaged for subsidizing medicines.
  • Create forums for “time out”: In addition to various support mechanisms required to cope with their dementia problems, the persons living with dementia also need ways in which to relax/ enjoy. A relatively new concept in this context is Memory Café (and its virtual counterpart, Virtual Memory Café. These are social gatherings where people can talk, relax, and do things they enjoy. While participants may talk about the symptoms they have, the primary purpose is giving a “time out.” You can arrange and coordinate memory cafes, or have an online space for a virtual memory cafe.

(A general discussion on how potential contributors can select projects and contribute can be seen at: Action Areas to Contribute to, and Possible Approaches )


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Resources: If you want to help caregivers/ spread dementia awareness