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Millennium Post

Not to forget

Not to forget

Diagnosed back in 1906 for the first time, Alzheimer's disease is one of the diseases affecting the elderly, marked by a tremendous psychological impact on not only the patient but on their families and the primary care givers to great extents. September being world Alzheimer's month dedicated to bringing awareness about Alzheimer's and other dementia conditions which more than 50 million people worldwide suffer from today, September 21 is globally observed as World Alzheimer's Day. Alzheimer's Disease International informs that a new dementia case is registered every 3.2 seconds totalling up to 9.9 million cases worldwide per year. What is commonly perceived as the disease of chronic forgetfulness, dementia is a range of symptoms that are associated with deteriorating memory or other thinking skills, the most severe of which can affect regular mundane functioning of the affected person. Dementia, however, is not a specific disease but an umbrella under which Alzheimer's disease accounts for over two-thirds of all diagnosed cases. There happens to be over a hundred different forms of dementia besides Alzheimer's. The average age limit for the diagnosis of dementia is just 65, and this is young given latest medical care facilities and resultant life expectancy. On the flipside, this increased life expectancy also means more people being prone to be diagnosed with dementia because of the rising overall numbers of elderly people in the world. India has an imposing demographic dividend and this also implies a massive strength of elderly in India in the foreseeable future. As per census estimates, India's elderly population increased from 70 million to 104 million between 2001 and 2011. In 2011, the population over 60 years of age comprised 8.6 per cent of the total population. As the population ages, the burden of geriatric diseases will get heavier and preparedness for that is necessary, especially for degenerative diseases like dementia. A lack of awareness compounded by a dearth of specialists in geriatric diseases paints an unfortunate picture of the ailing elderly. Also considering a right to life with dignity, awareness of the disease is crucial to preparedness to deal with it.

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