Discrimination against dementia-sufferers cause for concern

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Ashwani, a caregiver at a centre in India, shares a laugh with Didi. Photo: WHO/Cathy Greenblat

The number of people suffering from dementia worldwide is increasing, according to the United Nations.

An estimated 44 million people suffer from the disease, which affects brain function, often leading to disability.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe has released a detailed policy brief on dementia, and is calling for more to be done to address the unique challenges faced by those who suffer from the disease.

Veronica Reeves has the story.

With the number of people worldwide suffering from dementia steadily increasing, the UN has released a policy brief to better-educate people about the disease.

Vitalija Wittich from UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) says it's important to recognize that people with dementia are at risk of particular types of discrimination.

"The discrimination can take different forms. And people with dementia are often ignored. They may not be discriminated in the very kind of violent way, but this ignoring is part of the discrimination."

Ms Wittich says people with dementia are often stripped of their decision-making capabilities, including on their medical carE, which is in fact another form of discrimination.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 44″

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