National Institute of Mental Health

Angoda, Sri Lanka

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Home Mental Health in the News Mental Health in the News Sri Lanka Mirror - September 28, 2015

Sri Lanka Mirror - September 28, 2015

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Dementia rising its head among the elderly 

There is an increase of dementia cases among the elderly population, Director General of Health Services - Dr. P.G. Mahipala says.

Speaking to 'Sri Lanka Mirror', a spokesperson of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Angoda, Colombo said that women are more prone to suffer from Dementia than men.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a group of illnesses in which there is a gradual decline in memory with involvement of one or more other factors affecting cognitive domains. The patient’s functioning gradually deteriorates to a point where he is unable to attend to her/his own day-to-day routine. She/He may forget to brush his teeth or wash and later become totally dependent on others.

Common behavioural problems include aggression, lack of inhibition, wandering about and not attending to basic hygiene needs.

The sufferers can hit out, pinch and bite the caregivers, and worse may not even recognize loved ones. This is the time that the sufferer may have to go to a nursing home for future care.

Dementia is common in the West but less so in countries such as Sri Lanka where the family tries to look after the patient to the best of their abilities due to cultural reasons, lack of affordable nursing homes or poverty.

Free advice and clarifications can be obtained by calling the 0113140844 line of NIMH. Also, Dementia patients are treated at the room 43 of the Colombo National Hospital OPD.

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