Awareness Session about Dementia for healthcare professionals and volunteers of Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad Chapter.

  • The lecture is a part of the one month training program on palliative care conducted by MNJ Institute of Oncology.
  • The session commenced with an introduction of the ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan team by Ms. Vinilla, the coordinator of the program. Mr.Shashidhar (Treasurer of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter) appreciated the initiative taken by the institute to bring awareness of Dementia to the participants, especially as each one of them was directly or indirectly involved in end-of-life care and support of terminally ill persons.
  • The topic was introduced through a 5 minute video on "What is Alzheimer's Disease" to give a better understanding about one of the most common diseases that causes dementia.
  • Various aspects of dementia were discussed including the history of dementia, causative factors, signs and symptoms, the difference between dementia and normal forgetfulness, incidence of dementia in the Indian population, its impact on families and care-givers were discussed along with practical examples, other aspects covered included the problems faced by persons with dementia, progression of the disease and importance of early identification and interventions.
  • Mr. Shashidhar and Ms. Bala Tripura Sundari had shared their personal experience as former caregivers, the challenges encountered in the course of managing a dementia patient at home at different stages of the disease.
  • The focus of the interactive sessions was on identification of behaviors, possible cause, communication challenges and importance of active listening were discussed. The need to look beyond the obvious and continually seeking alternatives in caring processes was stressed upon.
  • There were a lot of questions about the disease and behavior of the patient from the audience which were answered. Tips were provided to the participants on topics such as safety measures, general guidelines on how to handle a patient in different stages of the disease, and how to analyze and interpret behaviors of the patients.
  • The session concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Vinilla.