“The number of elderly persons in India is at present 143 million – 10.3% of the total population – and will increase to 300 million (20% of the total population) in 2050. Number of persons with dementia in India is currently estimated to be around 53 lakhs and will increase to more than 1 crore in 2040.
Most persons with dementia in India are cared for by their families in their homes who are affected either directly or indirectly. Most of the primary caregivers of persons with dementia are women and of the working age group or elderly spouses. These caregivers experience high levels of burden, social isolation, and psychological problems including depression and anxiety.
We at Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) are delighted to open our new inpatient facility for dementia care in Chennai, India. This is, to our knowledge, the first such facility to use “dementia-friendly” design in India. This will bridge an important gap in the service provision for persons with dementia in Chennai. We are grateful to the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling, UK, for providing invaluable advice to enable us to make our facility dementia friendly. We also thank the Dementia Services Development Trust for sponsoring our staff to visit Scotland to learn first-hand about the dementia services in the NHS. We could not have developed our services without all this support. We look forward to continue our collaboration in the future.”
Dr. Sridhar Vaitheswaran MD, MRCPsych
Assistant Director & Consultant Psychiatrist, Dementia Care in SCARF – DEMCARES, Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF) India, Chennai, India