Dementia caregivers meet to update their awareness, share experiences

Organized by the Care24, the unique platform of Dementia caregivers seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through training, services, research, and advocacy

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New Delhi: On the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Month and as a part of their Dementia awareness initiative, Care24 is currently conducting workshops, seminars and series of Dementia Caregiver-Support Meet to create awareness on this disorder and to stretch their support to the Caregiver throughout the month of September.

The very first “Dementia Caregiver Support Meet” was organized on 11th September, 2017. Around 10 families attended this Meet. These Support Meets provide a platform to allow caregivers to share their experiences, exchange information, and point each other toward information that has been particularly helpful. These sessions are run by Dementia care professionals, and is aimed to help caregivers devise productive strategies for dealing with issues relating to care, hygiene, medical liabilities, intra-family conflicts or tensions that may arise around difficult caregiving decisions. Care24 seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through training, services, research, and advocacy. Through training on caregiving, Care24 offers information on current medical breakthroughs, social trends, government initiatives and caregiving issues. It also provides direct support services for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s and other debilitating health conditions that strike adults.

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Mr Vipin Pathak, CEO and Co-Founder of Care24 said, “Healthcare providers, government and support group need to recognize that diseases of the elderly is going to be a very important public health problem in India. The prevalence of this disorder in India is accelerating and unrecognized cases of dementia is common in our population, especially among mild cases. Cognitive screening programs for the elderly, quality homecare for these patients and public education policies designed to increase awareness of early signs of dementia are needed if interventions for individuals with potentially treatable dementias are to be implemented.”

He added, “Care24 is also developing modules for training attendants in cognitive exercises that would in turn help patients with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer, Dementia etc. This module will help the attendants keep their patients mental activity higher and hence create a better quality of life.”

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia definitely deserve our love and respect, but nothing can replace the full-time care and attention that a professional caregiver can provide.

Talking about these workshops and support-group meets, Garima Tripathi, Co-Founder of Care24 said, “Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers. Living with dementia requires having the right care, and it’s time to recognize and share what it means to be a caregiver. It is a step to change the attitudes of people towards victims and support caregivers in their efforts to provide quality care.”

The major challenge that needs to be addressed is changing the mentality of the people towards this burgeoning crisis. People need to be made aware of the fact that dementia and related problems are not merely old-age related ailments. These are neurological complications that affect the aged that need proper diagnosis, care and support. Proactive diagnosis of dementia and delirium is the need of the hour. With the increase in nuclearisation of families, joined-up care among family, relatives and professional healthcare providers can be the optimal solution. Holistic treatment management with healthcare providers like Care24 and others in the comfort of one’s home will be the game changer.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning. A total of 3.7 million people in India are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Medical studies have revealed that these cases will double by 2030. There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide. Thus, someone in the world develops dementia every 3.2 seconds and most of the cases are undiagnosed. While it is true that most cases of dementia cannot be treated and there is no reverse effect that can cure the symptoms, early diagnosis can help in some cases. People over the age of 60 are more prone to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, with women constituting almost 70 per cent of the total cases being recorded. According to medical experts, people suffering from diabetes, stroke and hypertension are at a greater risk of being affected from Alzheimer’s disease. The ageing population of China, India, and other south Asian and western Pacific countries are the most affected group in the world.