A recent study published in the journal Neuroepidemiology suggests that the prevalence of dementia among older adults in India is quite high, with an estimated 10 million or one crore individuals aged 60 or above affected by the condition. This figure is comparable to the prevalence rates observed in countries such as the US and the UK. The study employed a novel approach to analyze data from 31,477 older adults using an artificial intelligence (AI) technique called semi-supervised machine learning.
The researchers found that the prevalence of dementia was higher among older individuals, females, those with no formal education, and those residing in rural areas. Dementia is a debilitating condition characterized by a decline in cognitive function that interferes with daily activities. It is a progressive disease that affects memory, language, perception, and decision-making abilities, among other cognitive functions.
The causes of dementia are varied and can include factors such as age, genetics, lifestyle, and medical conditions. The high prevalence of dementia among older adults in India underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and effective interventions to address the issue. It is crucial to promote healthy aging and provide support to individuals affected by dementia and their families. Additionally, efforts to improve access to education and healthcare, particularly in rural areas, may help reduce the burden of dementia in India.
Currently, there is no known cure for dementia. However, there are some steps that can be taken to potentially delay the onset or slow the progression of symptoms. These steps include maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet, staying socially active, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles, and games.
In terms of handling dementia patients, it is important to approach them with empathy, patience, and understanding. It can be helpful to establish a routine and maintain consistency in their environment to reduce confusion and agitation. Communication should be clear and simple, and it may be helpful to use visual aids or gestures to convey information. It can also be beneficial to seek support from healthcare professionals and community resources such as support groups, respite care, and counseling to help manage the emotional and practical challenges of caring for someone with dementia.