Topic: Overview of dementia and Caregiver stress
Facilitator: Amulya Rajan, Psychologist, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan
Divya Raj, Clinical Psychologist, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan
Date: 23rd May, 2015
Place: Centre for Memory and Healthy Aging, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan, Banjara Hills
Time: 11am-1:00 pm

  • The meeting commenced at 11 am and was attended by close to 25 people including dementia caregivers, volunteers, NIMS Memory Clinic and ARDSI staff.
  • Facilitator Divya began the session with the importance of memories in one's life. Further the facilitator went on to talk about the symptoms of dementia and the different kinds of dementia by giving examples of patients seen at the Memory Clinic, NIMS Hospital and at the ARDSI Hyd Deccan activity centre.
  • She then listed out the different kinds of dementia with their symptomology in detail.
  • Further Divya went on to explain the possible causes of dementia like Alzheimer's disease, Stroke, head injury, alcoholism, thyroid and vitamin deficiency, brain infections and medications. Audience posed questions about sleeplessness in dementia patients and how to handle it. Divya elaborated upon the need for behavioral interventions over and above pharmacological interventions in dealing with such issues.
  • Amulya's talk began with the emotional symptoms co-existing with dementia were elaborated upon and the need for dementia patients to have continual and positive socialisation was explained. Further the importance of cognitive stimulation was explained in detail. The role of the activity centre in providing this was explained by talking about the various kinds of activities done at the centre and the effect of these activities on the patients.
  • She elaborated on caregiver stress and burden in dementia and how one could handle this stress and burden.
  • She spoke of the progression of the disease enumerating the different symptoms at each stage and then gave the audience several examples of forgetting in someone with Alzheimer's Dementia.
  • The process of evaluation of dementia and the different kinds of support provided to the patient and the caregivers in the form of rehabilitation, counseling and education was explained.
  • She concluded with different methods to preserve one's memory such as regular exercise, balanced diet, and cognitively stimulating exercises.
  • A brief question and answer session followed in which the audience clarified their doubts about the difference between normal forgetting and pathological forgetting.
  • The session ended on an extremely optimistic note with several of the audience very happy to have a better knowledge of dementia and caregivers expressing their gratitude for having been given a better insight into their loved ones' disease.