January 27, 2011 1 Comment
Because of my concern about dementia awareness in India, I participate whenever I can in awareness programs, talking to people about dementia and caregiving. The Dementia India Report 2010 says, “Awareness of dementia in India is low.” I see this as a polite understatement in a country where people usually fail to recognize dementia as a medical problem because they see the symptoms as either normal old age, or a mental problem (read: madness). Many (most?) doctors are not alert about dementia.
Awareness of anything, as I understand, needs both information and belief.
Usually, when we explain dementia, the focus is on disseminating information (and maybe case studies/ stories/ incidents), assuming that people exposed to the facts will believe them. But sometimes, even after hearing or reading about dementia, people don’t register what it is. Information percolates only if people are willing to believe it, and many things come in the way of believing that dementia symptoms are caused by medical problems.
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