Christmas is a time for festivity, cheer and the coming together of friends and family! On Saturday, the 21st of December, 2013, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan was able to bring together all this and more at the wonderful Christmas party organised at Mr. Vasanth Bawa, ARDSI member’s, residence. ARDSI patients and caregivers gathered at Mr. Bawa’s airy residence at Banjara Hills, and enthusiastically participated in several activities such as putting up Christmas decorations, exchanging gifts and socialising. A special Carol singing group was invited to sing for the attendees, and patients and caregivers accompanied them in singing several melodious Christmas carols. Volunteers from St. Francis Degree College performed a dance to a medley of old Bollywood favourites such as Chahe koi mujhe jungli kahe, Mere sapanon ki rani etc.
The get-together ended in true ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan style with the singing of the national anthem. This was followed by an elaborate potluck lunch put together by all the caregivers that included several delicacies such as Hyderabadi dum biryani, mirchi ka salan, mixed vegetable pulao, vegetable raita, double- ka-meetha, gulab jamun and chocolate cake.
ARDSI Hyd Deccan is very grateful to Mr and Mrs Bawa for so large-heartedly welcoming us into their home and for helping us make this day such a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
Topic: Sharing of Caregivers’ Issues
Facilitator: Ms Amulya Rajan (Psychologist, ARDSI Hyd chapter)
Mr Koti Babu (Project Manager, ARDSI Hyd Chapter)
Date: 22nd February, 2014
Place: ARDSI Activity Centre, Plot No-451, Road No-86, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
Time: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm
- The meeting commenced at 11.30am and was attended by around 20 people constituting caregivers, volunteers and ARDSI and staff.
- The caregivers were asked to share their experiences in dealing with patients and describe any specific challenges that they are currently facing in taking care of their relatives with dementia.
- Mrs. Shobha spoke about her journey in taking care of her late husband. She described how his disease had progressed through the different stages of dementia since the diagnosis and until he breathed his last. She also briefly ennumerated the kinds of challenges that she faced as a caregiver at each stage. Mrs Shobha particularly stressed on how important it is for the caregivers to take care of themselves by making sure they get enough rest and time for themselves, as this would affect how they coped with their situation and tended to the patient.
- Mr Krishnamurthi then went on to spoke of how his wife had been having a lot of visual hallucination lately and how he should deal with it. The caregivers then discussed their experiences with hallucinations and how each had dealt with it. The facilitator also pitched it by speaking about how one should validate the patient’s experience of hallucinations without denying or ridiculing them for seeing or hearing things. She also advised taking the help of a doctor if the hallucinations were increasing in frequency and intensity and were causing distress to the patient.
- There was some further discussions on how to deal with issues like sleeplessness, incontinence medicating the patient and trusting doctors’ opinions.
- Mr Ramchandani spoke of the bitter experience he had with doctors and how his wife had been wrongly medicated which had led to the worsening of her condition. The group was in consensus about this and stressed on how important it was to find a doctor who understood dementia.