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.
Samvedna Senior Care has been conducting dementia support group meetings for families regularly for the past 5 years. As a part of our interactions we have come across many caregivers and heard their experience in handling their loved ones. Caring for an individual with dementia can be challenging and at times it can also be overwhelming. Frustration and stress is a normal and valid emotional response to many of the difficulties faced by a caregiver. While some irritation may be a part of everyday life as a caregiver, feeling extreme frustration can have serious consequences for the caregiver or the person they care for. It negatively impacts the caregiver’s physical health and may lead to some serious consequences.
Samvedna Senior Care Foundation held it Dementia Support Group meeting for family members of persons with dementia on January 5th , 2019. The event was held at our senior centre in Gurgaon. Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta, MPhil, PhD, Neuropsychology, NIMHANS, presided over the meeting, the topic for this meeting was “Caregiver stress and coping strategies”.
Mr. Malhotra (name changed), a retired IAF officer, lives with his wife (55), who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 53. Mrs. Malhotra has always been an active and independent woman. She is a highly educated woman and was working as a scientist till a few years back. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and since then her disease has been progressing rapidly. Mr. Malhotra has been her primary caregiver. Mrs. Malhotra is suffering from some other ailments as well and requires monthly visits to the doctor for review. She is unable to manage her own medicines and gets really hassled every time she goes for a doctor’s review.
Marriage is a scared union between two people, where the couple vow to hold on to each other for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death separates them apart. But what happens when one of the loved one does not remember, not only the vows, but the spouse with whom he/she took the vows?
Mr. Sharma (name changed), a retired Grade A officer with one of the departments of the Government of India, now 78, lives with his wife in the home that they built after his retirement.
Mrs. Sharma has always been a home maker , and feels that she is now taking care of another child at home referring to her husband of 51 years. Mr. Sharma was diagnosed with dementia in late 2016, making Mrs. Sharma his primary care giver.
On 10th April, 2018, Samvedna Senior Care’s Dementia café, ‘D – Socialites’ opened its doors to people with Dementia. The purpose of a Dementia Café is to provide socialization and companionship in a warm and caring environment. Open to Caregivers and their family members, the Café provides more than coffee to its guests. It is run by Dementia experts who conduct various activities and also support the caregivers with their queries.
Socialization is important for all of us. Throughout our lives, we interact with friends, family, and strangers on a daily basis. We are a social species and our brains are designed to yearn for relationships and other social interactions. The need and the habit of mixing with people stays till the end because it comes naturally to us.
Isolation or loneliness is the major underlying problem of seniors in India. The trend of nuclear family has impacted the social life of seniors. The situation becomes even worse in case of senior with dementia.
On 24th March, 2018 we complete 100 successful sessions of our Cognitive Wellness Programme, based on the principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy designed by Dr. Martin Orrell, Aimee Spector, Bob Woods and other from University College of London. This is a non-pharmacological group therapy based programme for people with initial to mild stage dementia.
Our journey through the program so far has been full of excitement, evolution and new insights.