Time: 1400 hrs
Topic: Caregivers’ experiences
The talk started with introduction to the audience regarding what the meeting was about. Caregivers shared their experiences about caring for their parents, spouses; about how they dealt with shock, denial, overcoming difficult situations, keeping them busy with activities. They realized that each of their experiences were different but they were all ‘samadukkhis’ (united in grief). They emphasized on how helpful support from their doctors has been especially in dealing with change. Some of the caregivers were quite worried about their loved ones and found it difficult to accept the problems and deal with them. Everyone acknowledged that dealing with incontinence was one of the major issues they faced. They provided solace to each other saying that we have to learn to take a break and take one day at a time/enjoy each day/find humour in difficult situations/be happy in their happiness/accept that there is no point in trying to change the patient, but one has to change oneself/even this day shall pass! Others spoke about how they found innovative solutions to behaviour problems. The meeting ended with the importance of showing warmth and love with physical touch and genuine concern to the patient to really make a difference. The meeting lasted for almost 2 hours.