Dec 29, 2009

Palliative Care in Dementia, a support group meeting

In a well-attended and highly interactive support group meeting arranged by ARDSI, Bangalore Chapter, participants shared their situations and problems with Dr. Neela Patel (Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio), who suggested approaches they could follow. Dr. Patel, a specialist in palliative care, explained several concepts pertinent in caregiving of dementia patients. She also presented and discussed a number of case studies.

Attendees at the meeting included caregivers of patients who ranged from early to late dementia. Some patients just diagnosed with early dementia were also present. All participants were able to discuss the specific challenges they faced, such as seeing their loved ones suffer from memory loss or coping with abusive and aggressive behavior. Caregivers of patients in later stages of dementia described their problems in handling fully dependent patients, including problems like incontinence and swallowing. Participants also shared their confusion and overwhelm over the decisions they need to make regarding medication and other treatment options.

The focus of palliative care, Dr. Patel explained, is ensuring comfort, and this includes deciding between various options of both care and treatment, while retaining focus on the patient's quality of life. Dr. Patel described scales used to judge the 'stage' of dementia -- the FAST (Functional Assessment) scale, and the PPS (palliative Performance) scale. She explained how options and evaluation changes as the stage changes.

The meeting was covered in DNA, Bangalore (read the coverage here).

Dec 22, 2009

Dementia Support Group Meeting: December 26, 2009

Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult and, at times, overwhelming. Join us for the support group meeting to get the support you've been looking for. Meet a community of friends who are caregivers of their loved ones who are facing similar life challenges, medical conditions, and mental health issues.

All are welcome!

Theme: Palliative Care in Dementia

Date and time: Saturday, 26th December, 2009, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Sandhya Kirana.
O'Shangassey Road, Akkithimmanahalli,
Richmond Town, Bangalore - 5600025
Phone: 080 - 41248448, 41248449

Expert Invited:

Neela Patel M.D, M.P.H, Geriatrics, Gerontology & Palliative Medicine, department of Medicine, San Antonio, USA has kindly agreed to address the caregivers and answers their questions.

For those new to the idea of support groups, such groups generally provide information about the disease, education and practical support. They provide an excellent forum for learning how other people have coped with the symptoms of dementia and the life changes the disease causes. Caregivers find it helpful to know that someone else is experiencing similar problems and understands their issues and overwhelm.

Again, all are welcome! All those concerned and connected with the care of persons with dementia are encouraged to participate. For queries, or to confirm participation, call us on 93427 30936 or 080 - 41248448

Or just walk in to share your experiences and discuss your problems with fellow-caregivers.

Dr. Priyamvada
Program Manager
ARDSI – Bangalore Chapter

Nov 8, 2009

Training Program - Management of Dementia

The National Institute of Social Defense (NISD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, collaborated with Nightingales Medical Trust, Bangalore, to conduct a Five day training programme in Management of Dementia for organizations working with the field of elder care.

The training workshop was held from 2nd to 6th Nov, '09 at Bangalore. It was attended by over 30 committed professionals.

Oct 12, 2009

Living with Alzheimer’s – A Photographic Exhibition, October 7 to 11, 2009

ARDSI, Bangalore Chapter, and Nightingales Medical Trust organized a photographic exhibition, Living with Alzheimer's, in Bangalore, as part of their ongoing activities to create awareness about Alzheimer's disease. The exhibition visited different localities in Bangalore, and helped increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease amongst the public, medical professionals, and caregivers. The programme also covered educational institutions.

The exhibition presented appealing and alluring photographs of Indian Alzheimer's patients, taken by a world renowned photographer Prof. Cathy Greenblat, who has organized such programmes across the world and won several awards. Her presence and interaction with the public made the programme more meaningful and useful.

This event was supported and sponsored by the Manipal Hospital and was inaugurated by Ms. Nupur Basu on October 7, 2009, at Manipal hospital premises.

Sep 23, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day 2009 at Bangalore

World Alzheimer’s Day 2009, was observed in Bangalore on September 21, 2009, in a function jointly conducted by ARDSI Bangalore Chapter, Deutsche Bank, and Nightingales Medical Trust.

As part of the function, more than 250 volunteers, patients, caregivers participated in a ‘Memory Walk’ from Lalbagh to Nightingales Dementia Day Care Centre at Richmond Town, carrying placards with messages to create awareness on the disease. The walk was flagged off by actor Chandrashekar and two other Alzheimer patients.

The theme of this year’s Alzheimer’s Day was “Diagnosing Dementia: See it Sooner”, and emphasised the need for the early diagnosis of dementia.

Extending support from the Government, Dr Mohan Raj, Additional Director, Department of Health and Family Welfare, assured that the Government will take these diseases more seriously and extend all possible support to make the lives of the patients affected with dementia, better.

An interactive session for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients was subsequently held at Sandhya Kirana. Experts in Dementia, Dr. Rathnavalli (Manipal Hospital), Dr. Mathew Varghese (NIMHANS), and Dr. S. K. Shankar (Project Co-ordinator, HBTR - Brain Bank) answered the questions of the assembled caregivers, volunteers from corporates, students, and socially conscious elders.

A special feature this year was the pledging of brains. This year, ARDSI Bangalore Chapter wanted to focus on the research and cure of Alzheimer, hence they contacted families of dementia patients and talked to them about the need for brain donation. As a result, three caregivers took a significant step on the World Alzheimer's Day by pledging the brains of their loved ones to Brain Bank at NIMHANS to promote research on the disease.

The function received wide coverage in local papers.

Bangalore Mirror: Not enough brain tissue.

Deccan Herald: Caregivers pledge brains of their loved ones.

The Hindu: Memory Walk marks Alzheimer’s Day

Times of India: Alzheimers day round up.

Indian Express: City observes World Alzheimer's Day.