What is at stake and why should you care?
Dementia is an irreversible ailment that causes degeneration of brain, most commonly seen in the age group between 65 to 90 years.
There are 24.3 million registered cases of dementia globally and 4.6 million fresh cases are registered annually. Which means, every 7 seconds one case of dementia is registered in the world and this does not include the millions of cases that go un-noticed in the under developed and developing nations. After terminal cancer, dementia is the second highest, most dangerous disease to affect and cause disability in human beings all over the world.
According to the 2003 World Health Report Global Burden of Disease estimates, dementia contributed 11.2 % of all years lived with disability among people aged 60 and over; more than stroke (9.5%), musculo-skeletal disorders (8.9%), cardiovascular disease (5.0%) and all forms of cancer (2.4%).
As our population is aging, dementia is becoming even more common and has the potential to overwhelm the already inadequate healthcare systems.
Despite its scale and the mammoth challenges it poses in front of our society, the awareness around dementia is negligible. Surveys show that 82% young people under 25 are completely unaware of dementia, whereas 68% people under 45 are marginally aware of the disease, its scale, symptoms and dangers.
Public funding for dementia research lags far behind that of other serious medical conditions. The proportion of research papers since 2002 devoted to different chronic disorders reveals a starkly different order of priorities : cancer – 23.5%, cardiovascular disease – 17.6%, musculo-skeletal disorders – 6.9%, stroke – 3.1% and Dementia – 1.4%.
In the UK, public funding for dementia care has been slashed majorly over the last two years and in the wake of the new government with its strong agenda to cut public expenditure further, there is negligible hope of any improvement in this area, despite the fact that services are still not available for a large majority of population, and the demand is only predicted to grow.
In the under-developed and developing nations of the world, poverty, lack of knowledge and skills, lack of socio-political and medical infrastructure are some of the main reasons for the apathy in confronting dementia.
But more than anything else its the lack of awareness which allows us all to go on with our lives without doing something for the people who created our families and homes and society. Due to their failing mental condition, instead of becoming the assets they often become a liability.
The debate, we suppose, is whether or not, it is our personal and social responsibility to care for people with dementia and to invest in the research and care systems without expecting monitory returns of any kind ?
Mind you, every day, every single one of us is moving towards old age and unfortunately 1 in 6 or even 1 in 3 amongst us will have to face the challenge to fight dementia, unless we learn our lessons now and do something about it.
With this film, we want to throw light on all these daunting issues connected with dementia and provide solutions. Our best intention behind making this film is to launch awareness campaigns in places where they don’t exist and strengthen them where they do. We hope this film becomes a tool to raise funding for dementia care all over the world and a vehicle for social change.
We feel it’s the responsibility of all of us – singly, as a family, as a community, as a country and as an entire humanity, to rise to this challenge and we would like to urge you to join hands with us.
As the famous saying goes :
“Don’t do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can!”