As caregivers, we are well aware of the powerful range of emotions felt by us and our loved one with dementia. People with dementia fluctuate between many different behaviors and moods ranging from being excited and cheerful, to sadness, crying and aggression. As we struggle in our attempt to deal with these mood changes, many of these negative mood states can transfer to us. They typically show up as sadness, anger, frustration and exhaustion.
World Human Rights Day is observed on December 15th every year. A Dementia patient too has his or her rights as defined by the Alzheimer’s Society of UK here .
In this context as a part of Samvedna Senior Care’s Dementia Support Group meeting on Saturday, 9th December 2017, we decided to discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by families for their loved ones with Dementia. We started the workshop by discussing some viewpoints on dilemmas that commonly disturb caregivers.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease in which brain cells (neurons) are affected. While it is most commonly associated with motor symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, postural instability, difficulty walking, etc., Parkinson’s is also accompanied by non-motor symptoms such as disturbances in the sense of smell, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and cognitive changes.
Many elderly appreciate having an alcoholic drink every now and then, and alcohol can be a part of celebrating and socializing. We are also well aware that drinking too frequently in large quantities can put anyone in danger of developing serious physical and mental health problems.
The prevalence of dementia and age-related cognitive impairment is rising due to an aging population worldwide. There is currently no effective medicinal treatment available, however various cognitive activity programmes can help prevent and delay the progression of the disease. This is especially true if the diagnosis of dementia is made in its early stages, presenting a window of opportunity for various interventions.
Dementia changes the brain and researchers are making great efforts to increase our understanding of it’s the effects and changes. With increased understanding of dementia, we as caregivers are modifying the ways in which we manage the various symptoms of dementia. The aim is to identify and understand the techniques through which caring can be optimized.
Validation emphasizes empathy and listening. It is a method of communicating with and helping disoriented old people. ‘Disoriented old people’ is the term used by Validation therapists to talk about individuals with dementia or other cognitive problems.
Our body has a natural cycle that makes us feel sleepy at night and helps us wake up in the morning. This cycle is controlled by circadian rhythm. We all have sleep problems from time to time when we go out of sync from our body’s natural rhythm. Some people develop more serious sleep disorders requiring treatment.
Our Cognitive Wellness Programme is designed for individuals with Mild to Moderate Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment or even Depression. It combines a wide range of activities that are known to provide mental and physical stimulation with an aim to slow the progression of dementia.
As part of this program, we have included Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), an internationally recognized therapy that has been shown to be successful for people with dementia. This is an evidence-based therapy in which we conduct group sessions centered around a theme.