August Caregivers Meeting

The monthly caregivers' meeting, on August 8, 2:30-3:30 PM, at Mini Conference Hall, (near the Learning Center) NIMS, included screening of a documentary movie on Alzheimer's titled, "Burden of Love". The meeting was attended by family carers, ARDSI volunteers, representatives from NIMS physiotherapy dept, AASARA volunteers, AMRI staff, journalists from HMTV and Andhra Jyothi.

Despite technical glitches in the screening of the movie (ARDSI Hyd Deccan apologizes for the poor audio quality and thanks attendees for their patient viewing), the poignant visuals struck an emotional chord with the audience. An interactive session followed to discuss the impact of the movie. Notable views included positive impact of the movie, importance of supportive family care and non-pharmacological interventions, increasing the exposure of healthcare professionals to dementia care, and increasing public awareness of the disease.

Dr. Suvarna Alladi responded to queries from the audience, clarifying common misconceptions such as dementia being triggered by a stressful event such as the death of a spouse, shock, financial loss, retirement etc. Typically a stressful event brings the overt symptoms of the disease to the notice of the family members and does not contribute to its onset. She also mentioned that less than 5% of Alzheimer's cases and Fronto-temporal dementia cases are hereditary in nature.

Family carers requested ARDSI Hyderabd Deccan to start a daycare center that will benefit early and moderate stage dementia patients. The local chapter members mentioned that some effort is being put into getting this initiative started.

The meeting closed with an exhortion to the public for greater involvement in volunteer efforts, advocacy and awareness of the disease.