Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India- Hyderabad Deccan organized the monthly caregiver’s meeting on the 10th of March, 2012, at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences.
The meeting was facilitated by the staff of ARDSI, namely Mr. Kotibab (Project Manager), Ms. Vasundhara (Counsellor) and Ms. Deepthi (Psychologist). The session was attended by about 28 people, which included caregivers, volunteers and the ARDSI staff. Two important topics were presented in this meeting, “Environmental Modifications” and “Personal Care for Dementia Patients”.
The meeting commenced with Mr. Shashidhar (Treasurer, ARDSI- Hyd Deccan) introducing the facilitators to the audience. Kotibabu then spoke about the meaning of environment and environmental modifications. Environment includes the surrounding atmosphere or conditions. It is the place where we live and move around. And this
includes all the living and non living things around us. It is necessary to make certain modifications in a home, where a dementia patient lives. Modification in this context are defined as any change made for the safety, security, or comfort of the person with dementia, and/or as a change that makes care giving easier
Ms.Vasundhara then explained about the necessity of making these modifications and the purpose behind them. Physical environment has a tremendous impact on an individual and this impact is even greater on people with cognitive impairments. The main purpose of modifications is to reduce excess disabilities and maximize independence of the person with dementia.
With the help of two case studies, Ms.Deepthi discussed about what home care involves, and the scope and challenges of the caregiver’s role. She stated that a caregiver’s role requires a lot of adjustments and planning. It is necessary that the family members of a dementia patient plan and share their responsibilities, in order to avoid any sort of conflicts. The audience came up with a number of solutions to solve the problems mentioned in the case studies.
The session progressed further with Ms.Vasundhara highlighting the four categories of modifications that can be made in a home to help a dementia patient. They are, modifications for safety & independence, modifications to reduce confusion and havoc in the house, modifications to manage wandering and modifications to manage
Ms.Deepthi introduced the audience to the concept of a personal care plan for a dementia patient and the purpose behind it. She informed them that ARDSI- Hyd Deccan is planning to come with a personal care plan for each individual patient. She asked the caregivers to come up with a list of activities (based on the likes and dislikes of the patient) in which the patient can be engaged in.
Towards the end of the session, Mr. Gururar joshi, who has been a caregiver for many years, shared his experience and the challenges he faced as a caregiver.