Activities for Dementia Patients- 14th May 2011

The monthly caregiver's meeting was held on Saturday, 14th May, 2011 from
2.30 P.M. – 4.40 P.M, at Seminar hall, 1st floor, Department of Neurology, NIMS.
This month's topic was "Activities for Dementia Patients". The audience comprised family members and ARDSI volunteers.

The session was moderated by ARDSI members who explained the importance of Activities for day to day life with Dementia patients. Members interacted with the caregivers and volunteers and encouraged families to share the experiences and concerns of the caregivers and volunteers.

Ms. Safiya Fathima, Psychologist and coordinator, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan took a session on the importance of activities for Dementia patients and said that the family is the best source to determine the activities appropriate for the patient. Activities need to account for preferences of the patient and stage of dementia. She highlighted the point saying that Activities are as important as medicines. Activities should suit the person's preferences, their level of Dementia and also their interest and abilities and should give them a sense of happiness and confidence. She shared her experience with the patients at the Rehabilitation centre [run by ARDSI Hyd Deccan twice a week using different pictures and videos of the patients. She explained the activities with models, whichever being used at activity centre.

Ms.Shabnam, Montessori teacher and volunteer ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan shared her experience with patients in Rehabilitation centre explaining the importance of mental activities along with physical activities to enhance their coordination and help to stimulate their brain cells. She said that simplifying the task like breaking the activities in parts will help them to learn easily and boost their confidence in successfully accomplishing the activity. Later she explained the importance of simple yoga for Dementia patients and demonstrated them in front of the audience.

Ms. Preethi Bhanushali volunteer, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan interacted with caregivers and addressed their doubts. One of the caregivers shared the difficult experience he has been facing with his mother, where she is not concerned about her dress sense
in public, and is very adamant to take opinions. Ms. Bhanushali explained him how Dementia can also affect the person’s judgment. So he should try to explain her
in a manner where she is able to understand. She also explained about the communication problems faced by the patients, where they might face difficulty in expressing some words in which situation we can help them by giving clues and also be non-judgmental towards them. She emphasized that accepting them as they are is the most important thing.

The Meeting concluded at 4.40 p.m. with a vote of thanks from ARDSI members to the speakers and all the participants.