My journey of being a Care Specialist began in the rural parts of Goa where I used to screen seniors with memory loss and mild confusions. I have also worked with their families and made them aware about the condition called Dementia. Now since last two years, I have been with Samvedna Senior Care and have been visiting people with dementia and closely working with them. In both the settings, be it rural or urban the common need amongst the patients is love, assurance, support and care. Despite the cognitive decline, the underlying needs of our loved ones are the same. The emotional security which we as caregivers often have difficulty understanding.
Mr. Rathore is an independent senior who lives alone in his house. His children are settled abroad and his wife passed away few years back. He is fond of gardening and spends a lot of time looking after his plants. One day he was watering his garden and suddenly got distracted by a phone call. He rushed to answer the phone and he slipped and had a fall. He tried his best to get up and reach out for help but failed. His attendant was out to purchase some groceries. No primary caregiver was available at home. Who is going to help him during this emergency?
“People with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they are all individuals and they are all unique and they just need to be interacted on a human level” – By Cary Mulligan
21st September is World Alzheimer’s Day. To mark this occassion, we at Samvedna have organized two events in association with Paras Hospital, Gurgaon. One is a panel discussion on dementia and the other a caregiver training for family members. We would like to invite you to come be a part of them. Please call us on 9818421446 to know more. Here are the invites –
Mrs and Mr Sharma have been living in Delhi for the last 2 years, and their children were settled abroad. Both of them have a history of medical illnesses. They have a house support staff of 2 and also a driver to help with the demands of daily living.
Very recently Mrs Sharma had a fall and needed to be hospitalized. Here is Mr Sharma’s account of his experience –
Ashima shifted to another city almost 10 years ago to make her life. While life was shining bright at her, it was the exhaustive work schedules and commitments that made it stressful, and it was a daunting task for her to juggle her family life here and her parents living in the other city. Her parent’s health, safety and wellbeing were definitely her concern. There were times when she would worry and wonder late into the night about what they may be doing… were they happy… whether they were facing any form of trouble…was everything being taken care off well.
A caregiver is anyone who provides care and support in daily routine activities to someone because of an ongoing disease or terminal illness. India majorly has an unpaid workforce of caregivers i.e. it is usually the family members who take up the role of nursing their loved ones. Caregiving can be a very rewarding and fruitful experience for quite a few. However, in the quest of serving their loved ones, one tends to overlook the consequences that a complex care giving situation brings with it. Being unprepared for such a role in terms of knowledge and resources can lead to later life issues.
The role of children reverses from being cared by their parents to becoming caregivers of their parents. This shift in roles may not be easily accepted by all parents. They are likely to be reluctant to give up their independence and allow their children to make decisions for them. Even though the children grow up as adults their parents see them as children only and communicating to them that they need professional help can lead to a power struggle and hurt feelings.
Our dementia support group is a forum for caregivers to connect, share and support in a secure environment. We interact, have expert talks and do fun activities at our meetings. If you want to know more, watch this short video on the support group.
Regardless of one’s age, everyone loves to have fun; and senior citizens with Dementia and Alzheimer’s are no exception. At the second Support Group meeting held on 11th July, the seniors were reminded of that fact that having a good laugh and sharing enjoyable activities can be a wonderful way to stay actively engaged in life.