The monthly caregivers' meeting was held on Saturday, 12th June, between
2 – 3 p.m., at Conference Hall, 1st Floor, Millenium Block, NIMS.
This month's topic was “Understanding Fronto – Temporal Dementia”. The audience comprised family members and ARDSI volunteers.
Dr Suvarna Alladi, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Nims Hospital, President, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan started with an introduction about the meeting.
She spoke about the prevalence rate of FTD in India, the problems related with FTD, the types and subtypes of FTD and the difficulties faced by the patient and caregiver during different stages of the disease.
Dr Rukmini mridula, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Nims hospital spoke about the variants of FTD that are related to Parkinsonism and the different problems that occur like postural instability, gait problems, difficulty in swallowing, slowing of all activities, Autonomic disturbances and eye movement abnormality.
Ms Sonal Chitnis, Speech Pathologist, Department of Neurology, Yashodha Hospital, Somajiguda highlighted the role of Frontal and temporal lobes in speech and communication. She spoke about the various communication problems in different types of FTD and also about different speech problems in the early, middle and later stages of the disease. She also highlighted some interventions that can be used for improving communications such as oro-motor exercises, speech exercises etc.
Ms Rukhsana Ansari, Secretary, ARDSI Hyd Deccan, spoke about “Leveling the Playing for a person with FTD”. It was basically a narrative about her experience as a carer and the pivotal role of caregiver education, training and functional interventions for improving the quality of life of a person with dementia. She urged caregivers to adopt a lateral approach to caregiving (with use of assistive devices) that emphasized that “fat men can outrun thin men if they ride bicycles” in contrast to the classical approach of “fat men are slow and therfore cannot outpace thin men”. Each carer needs to recognize that dementia care is a person-centered approach that is unique to the individual. She spoke about graded interventions that should be used to “level the playing field” of a patient in different stages of the disease for overcoming the problems in communication, gait and motor skills, food/swallowing and behavior.