The meeting commenced at 2 pm and was attended by Ardsi staff, Volunteers and caregivers.
The meeting started as a round table discussion on various problems faced by the families and later continued by Ms.Bala [Joint secretary, ARDSI Hyd Deccan] and Mr.Shashidhar[Treasurer, ARDSI Hyd Deccan] giving a presentation on Safety issues.
The following points were discussed in the meeting:
- Ms.Bala introduced the day’s topic to the caregivers and started the discussion on various safety issues.
- Ms.Preethi, a care giver herself spoke about her mother in law and the problems she faced while taking care of her. She gave an example of her personal experience to emphasise how important it is to have a barrier on both sides of bed, especially at night.
- Ms.Bala next took the discussion further by talking about how important it is to always walk with the patient. By sharing an incident where her father walked into a lake alone.
- Mr.Shashidhar next shared an experience about a family where the patient manages everything by himself. Both Mr.Shashidhar and Ms.Rukhsana emphasised on how safety of the patient comes before independence.
- Next caregivers- Mr.Krishnamurthy and Mr.Ali raised concerns about how to deal with the problems of hygiene, behavioural problems and incontinence.
- Ms.Preethi emphasised on the importance of love therapy. And suggested a solution for Mr.Ali’s problem where if they could replace a young man in place of the patient’s lost son, who would lovingly and honestly take care of the patient as his own father, then probably the behavioural problems of the patient could come down.
- Rukhsana asked all the caregivers to express love towards the patients and to have lots of patience as it would take lot of time for change to happen.
- Questions were asked by the caregivers for a respite care for dementia patients.
- The suggestions given to the caregivers in the discussion are as follows
- Emotional care of the patient is important.
- Families of the dementia patients should be counselled
- Awareness should be provided to friends, colleagues and neighbours about the condition of the patient and dementia in general.
- Family should not distance themselves from the patient
- The biggest solution for handling a patient is being close to the patient and letting them know that they are loved and wanted.
- Leaving the patients in an old age home will worsen the condition.
- If there are frequent falls i.e., more than 3 every week then it is time family should take strong safety measures.
- Wandering is a very dangerous problem. Measures should be taken before allowing the patient to take autos or public transport.
- All the sharp objects should be put away from the patients reach.
- If the patient is going to office then he should have a constant attendant.
- If travelling by train, don’t be ashamed of informing about the patient’s condition to fellow passengers. As It is better than losing a patient
- Mr.Panduranga Rao took over the discussion and suggested that all the experiences from the caregivers should be collected and documented. This will become in itself an encyclopaedia, he quoted.
- Ms.Bala then gave a presentation on safety measures to be taken indoors. She discussed about the various points on independence /vs. Safety, Hygiene, grooming and personal care.
- She further discussed on issues like feeding strategies by showing the spoons to be used, hoarding of food and distributing money etc.
- Mr.Shashidhar made the final presentation of the day by discussing about outdoor safety measures. He discussed about the possible scenarios and suggested solutions for problems like – missing, bruising, cuts drowning , poisoning etc.,
- He concluded the meeting by suggesting that patients should be asked to wear dark coloured or bright coloured shirts while going outside so that they can easily be identified in the crowd.