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Dementia Care

Zohra Foundation / Dementia Care

Dementia is life changing condition which affects not only patients but their families and the wider community.  In Pakistan only 10% of sufferers will receive any kind of treatment.  Without any form of support patients and their families struggle to cope with their condition.  For those living alone it can be a terrifying, lonely experience.

Our specialised dementia care team in Pakistan travel across the country to provide free psychological and medical support to patients.  The dedicated nurses and doctors mean that thousands of elderly people and their families are able to cope with dementia. We help individuals maintain their physical and cognitive well-being, and we educate caregivers about the progressive nature of the disease and consider how it can be managed at home.  Without our dedicated nurses and doctors thousands of elderly people in the country would be left neglected, isolated and struggling with this terrible condition.

Zohra Foundation has been running specialised dementia treatment centres in Pakistan for the last 5 years.  Across the world and in Pakistan Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia (often after a stroke) are the most common types.  However, there are also many other reversible conditions that cause the same symptoms, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.  Once our team has established the type of dementia, we are then able to provide the most suitable medical and emotional support to patients and their families.

“Zohra Foundation gave me and my family the hope of a brighter future.  Without them we didn’t understand dementia and what my future would be.”

Mrs Sughra Begum, 75 years of age

Living with Dementia

Dementia affects the lives of millions of elderly people around the world every year.  The term dementia refers to a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, communication, reasoning and other thinking skills.  These are severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.  Everything from shopping to cooking and remembering prayer times becomes difficult.  By 2050 it is estimated that 71% of people with the condition will live in lower to middle income countries.

Can you imagine how it must to feel to wake up one day and not understand where you are? Or desperately wanting to become closer to Allah but struggling to remember when or how you should pray?  Whether you are living with dementia or caring for someone with the disease it is can be a daunting and challenging experience.  The continuous decline in a patient’s memory can leave them feeling helpless, confused and frustrated. 

Changing the lives of dementia patients

Misunderstanding about dementia in Pakistan means that there is a lack of awareness about the care, prognosis and support that patients and their families can receive.  Often it is blamed on stress, social isolation and even a lack of care from the extended family.  This guilt, frustration and fear of social stigma makes families reluctant to confront or manage the problem.   But Zohra Foundation’s dementia centres have made treatment accessible to all families in poverty and raised awareness of the types of care and support available.  We are not only changing the lives of dementia suffers today but for the future too.

Dementia FAQs

What are the symptoms of dementia?

The symptoms of dementia can vary, but at least two of the core mental functions below must be significantly impaired for it to be considered dementia.

  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception

Many types of dementia are progressive and will gradually get worse over time.  If you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or changes in thinking skills, then do not ignore them and visit a doctor to determine the cause.

What are the causes of dementia?

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells which interferes with their ability to communicate with each other.  When brain cells cannot communicate normally then thinking, behaviour and feelings can be affected.  Different types of dementia are associated with particular types of cell damage in specific areas of the brain.

While most changes in the brain which cause dementia are permanent and worsen over time those caused by the conditions below may improve when treated.

  • Depression
  • Side effects of medication
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies

The diagnosis of dementia

There is no medical test to determine the type and cause of dementia.  A careful review of medical history, physical examinations, labatory tests and characteristic changes in the thinking, functions and behaviour can lead to a diagnosis.