On 6th October 2018, we conducted our Support Group Meeting for caregivers of dementia patient. A large group of caregivers from in and around Gurgaon and Delhi came to attend the session. The main agenda of the session was to acknowledge the pain of caregivers and to help them in their needs. The topic of the session was “Dementia Management Impact of Social, Physical and Cognitive Interventions. The session was unlocked by Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta, MPhil, PhD, Neuropsychology, NIMHANS, who is the Project Director of Samvedna Senior Care.
World Human Rights Day is observed on December 15th every year. A Dementia patient too has his or her rights as defined by the Alzheimer’s Society of UK here .
In this context as a part of Samvedna Senior Care’s Dementia Support Group meeting on Saturday, 9th December 2017, we decided to discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by families for their loved ones with Dementia. We started the workshop by discussing some viewpoints on dilemmas that commonly disturb caregivers.
The Samvedna Senior Care team conducted an experiential workshop for family members of people with dementia on the theme ‘Experiencing Empathy’ on the 23rd of September, 2017. This was to mark World Alzheimer’s Day that was on 21st September.
Samvedna Senior Care Foundation organizes Dementia Support Group (DSG) meetings on a monthly basis. Any caregiver of a Dementia patient can attend this meeting, and it is free of charge. Caregivers are invited to discuss and share their experiences and challenges so that it can help other caregivers.
I am working as a Dementia Care Specialist at Samvedna Senior Care. We organize Dementia Support group meetings for caregivers on a monthly basis and invite people from various parts of Delhi-NCR to come discuss, support and share their stories. This meeting is free of charge for dementia care givers.
Support groups are a platform for people going through similar hurdles and concerns in life to get together and share. Their purpose is multifold—exchanging information, sharing experiences and learnings, providing a counsel, lending support and understanding.
“Can dementia can be reversed with medicines”
“Will the memory loss progress”
We’ve met caregiver families from diverse backgrounds. The one thing that remains consistent across all these people is the presence of myths, which may come in way of understanding and planning for the loved ones affected by the disease.
“A 68 year old lady who is diagnosed with dementia has difficulty expressing herself as she cannot find words to do so. She has slowly lost her ability to express ideas and along with it there has been a significant change in her personality. She speaks less and has withdrawn socially. The inability to express her anger and resolve the matter keeps her agitated all the time. She refuses to talk to anybody and yells at anyone who tries to approach her. She says nobody is ready to understand what she has been going through all this while.”
Our dementia support group is a forum for caregivers to connect, share and support in a secure environment. We interact, have expert talks and do fun activities at our meetings. If you want to know more, watch this short video on the support group.
Regardless of one’s age, everyone loves to have fun; and senior citizens with Dementia and Alzheimer’s are no exception. At the second Support Group meeting held on 11th July, the seniors were reminded of that fact that having a good laugh and sharing enjoyable activities can be a wonderful way to stay actively engaged in life.