Dementia is a neuro-degenerative brain disorder which makes the patient’s behavior more challenging as it progresses. The common issues are wandering, pacing, bathing, sun downing, agitation, hallucinations etc. However, the situation and the triggers for every patient may vary, but through some behavior modification by the family or caregiver it can be managed.
Indian Culture is known for being collectivistic. It is extremely common for young adults in India to continue to live with their parents even after they start working. Although the number of nuclear families is on the rise a good number of adults continue to live with their parents even after they get married. Most commonly, a woman moves in with the family of her husband.
I am Piali and I live in the US. My aging mother lives alone in Delhi. I am very grateful to have found a service like Samvedna Senior Care for my mother, since it is a service that does not impinge on her independence or sense of self but supports her (with kindness and caring) in some of the minutiae of daily life that have started to get overwhelming with age and her failing health.
More and more people are moving from place to place today either for higher education or for better job opportunities. Earlier people used to live in joint families, the children were with their parents so it was easy for them to manage their needs. But now the children are mostly staying away from their homes, which make it difficult for them to take care of their aging parents remotely.
One of the biggest challenges for people who are taking care of a spouse or elderly parent with any form of dementia is dealing with sudden outbursts of agitation and aggression. Most people with dementia undergo behavioral changes during the course of the disease. Depending on their personalities and experiences they may become anxious or repeat the same question or activity many times.
Technology has progressed a long way over the course of an older adults’ lifetime. They have seen everything from dramatic medical advances to the rise of an internet-dependent society. Over the last several years, older adults have been the quickest growing section of the online population. More and more people over the age of 60 are going online and using Facebook, Google, Yahoo and YouTube. They are emailing, texting and blogging—and it has a positive impact on their lives as they are communicating more frequently with family and reconnecting with old friends.
As caregivers, we are well aware of the powerful range of emotions felt by us and our loved one with dementia. People with dementia fluctuate between many different behaviors and moods ranging from being excited and cheerful, to sadness, crying and aggression. As we struggle in our attempt to deal with these mood changes, many of these negative mood states can transfer to us. They typically show up as sadness, anger, frustration and exhaustion.
With more people moving away from their homes for better opportunities, today’s families tend to be further apart than ever before. But when the parents living at a distance begin to show signs that they are no longer able to care for themselves or handle the responsibilities of day-to-day living, ensuring their continued well-being can pose a significant challenge for their adult children.
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.