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Dementia is becoming prevalent in people of Indian origin: research

People of Indian origin attending a dementia awareness session. Source: Bianca Brijnath

The government provides several services to those suffering from dementia, especially from multicultural backgrounds.

An innovative multi-media programme to raise awareness about dementia in people from multicultural communities was launched in Melbourne on February 22.

Coordinated by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), Moving Pictures is a collection of 15 short films co-produced with people from Tamil, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Arabic communities – Australia’s top five fastest growing cultural and linguistic groups. Globally, India and China are poised to have a 90 per cent increase in dementia prevalence by 2020.

SBS Punjabi spoke with Sukhwinder Singh Rakhra, a former occupational therapist from Royal Melbourne Hospital, who has featured in the Hindi version of one of these movies. Mr Rakhra has also been caring for his 87-year-old mother suffering from dementia for the past few years. To start off, Mr Rakhra says that “dementia is not a disease but carries the symptoms of something bigger happening to the brain of mostly ageing people.”

NARIsays that “Moving Pictures is a critical step forward in helping people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds understand more about dementia and the services that are available. Current limited awareness is resulting in delayed diagnosis, poorer prognosis, and a higher burden of care on families and health systems.”

In an attempt to spread awareness about dementia far and wide, Moving Pictures, together with a mobile-optimised website and dementia comics, will now be rolled out across Australia. This initiative has been funded by the federal government.

 

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this interview in Punjabi.

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