On 16th February, 2019 Samvedna Senior Care Foundation conducted its Support Group meeting for caregivers of dementia patients. A group of caregivers from in and around Gurgaon and Delhi came to attend the meeting. The topic of discussion for the meeting was “Importance of early detection and intervention and managing challenging behavior”. The session was opened by Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta, Project Director, Samvedna Senior Care.
The meeting started with a brief icebreaking session where all the participants (caregivers) introduced themselves and shared their experiences about their loved ones. Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta initiated the talk while focusing on the different dynamics of dementia and its importance of early detection of the disorder. Caregivers shared about their hard times in handling their loved ones and how they became more accepting of the disorder. The session was interactive with participants learning from each other’s experience.
A common challenge shared by all was – how to introduce professional help for their loved ones. Some of them also shared about family dynamics playing a part in the decision making process whereas others had challenge with their loved ones being highly intellectual and refusing help. These issues were discussed at length and some ideas were exchanged on how to break the resistance. It was interesting to hear one caregiver share that they had introduced the attendant as a nurse from a nearby hospital. They also made some important social behavior changes to integrate the attendant as a family member for easier acceptance.
The other challenge shared by the participants was about how the personality of their loved ones deterred them from making some changes in their care ecosystems like clothes and personal care. Dr. Jayashree emphasized to the caregivers to make the changes gradually, since the progression of the disease over a period of time will make it inevitable for the person with dementia to seek more help.
Dr. Jayashree also discussed the need for cognitive stimulation and socialization as being integral to the care of a person with dementia. Lastly the session ended with question and answer rounds where some caregivers discussed their problem and how Samvedna Senior Care could help them.