Dementia Support Groups in India
Finding a dementia support group can help you deal with the challenge of caregiving for a loved one with dementia. We bring you a short but valuable list of support groups that can help.
Seeing a loved one’s decline into dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be heart wrenching. It can also mean that someone from the family has to take on the role of a caregiver. The task is challenging, rewarding and exhausting at the same time and several caregivers feel the need to connect with others in the same situation. Becoming part of a Dementia Support Group can help you learn to navigate the situation better and give you a peer group dealing with similar issues.
What is a dementia support group?
The aim of dementia support group is to provide the care givers an environment of support and platform to share their feelings.It is essentially a group for the people who are taking care of Dementia patients. The group helps the caregiver understand and cope with the complexities of the disease, provides them with a supportive atmosphere where they can express the stress of taking care of their loved ones with Dementia.
Why is it needed?
Dementia is characterised by a progressive decline in cognitive, physical and functional abilities. As a dementia patient loses one ability after another, a caregiver has to face tests of stamina, problem solving, and resiliency. With increasing responsibilities it is easy to become overwhelmed and neglect their own health and well-being. The burden of caregiving can put caregivers at increased risk for significant health and psychological problems. A Dementia support group is a safe place for caregivers to meet and develop a mutual support system. The care givers can gain information on methods of coping with the disease. We bring you some Dementia Support Groups across India.
Samvedna Dementia Support Group
Every second Saturday of the month at Samvedna is reserved for their monthly Dementia Support Group meeting. This support group is for families of patients of Dementia and the objective is to share knowledge and information on Dementia and help families deal with the challenges associated with this illness. A typical meeting involves sharing and participating in activities and singing and dancing together. Once in a while an expert is invited to talk about relevant issues at the meeting. Members are asked to share their story and instances like what were the first symptoms they noticed in their loved one and how did they accept when their loved one was first diagnosed with dementia. They are also asked to share instances of success or failures in caregiving that other members can learn from. Information on latest research in Dementia is also shared with the members.
Nightingales Medical Trust & ARDSI
ARDSI Bangalore would have monthly meetings for dementia caregivers but now has them once every two months due to lack of participation by many caregivers. The support group meetings are held with minimum 15-20 caregivers at various locations around Bangalore for two to two and half hours, usually on a Saturday. It is open to all, family & caregivers, students working with elders or anyone interested in knowing more about dementia. The sessions begin with a group discussion and open forum where everyone is asked to share their experience, the daily schedule at home and other issues. All this is followed by a small talk by an expert who has been invited and deals with various issues over the different sessions. Members try to find a solution towards caregiving in the midst of busy working lives and share tips with each other on behavioural patterns, healthcare tips, etc. Members have even formed a group on the messaging service Whatsapp and stay in touch with each other. You can email them to find out the date for the next meeting.
Holy Family Dementia Support Group supported by Silver Inning Foundation & ARDSI Greater Mumbai Chapter
The support group offers counselling and training of family members, says coordinator Mona Mishra. They also hold monthly meetings, awareness campaigns and various other programs. Some caregiving sessions are held at their assisted eldercare home Snehanjali at Nala Sopara. They also offer home Care services which includes online , telephonic , person to person counseling and talks. They also offer free counseling for BPL (Below Poverty Line) family & charge people who can pay.
Suchetadhama means abode of beautiful minds. They offer day care and respite care facilities for caregivers, emergency and short break arrangements and a round -the-clock Helpline that can be of huge importance to a caregiver in need of guidance.
Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Society of India also has chapters across India that offer support to caregivers. Visit this link to know more http://www.alzheimer.org.in/chapters.php