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