Training session for caregivers- Behavioural issues in dementia patients- Understanding and Responding

Facilitators: Amulya Rajan, Neuropsychologist, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan
Divya Raj, Neuropsychologist, ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan

  • The meeting commenced at 10.30 am and was attended by close to 10 people including dementia caregivers, volunteers, NIMS Memory Clinic and ARDSI- Hyderabad Deccan staff.
  • Facilitator Divya began the session with a brief discussion on the psychological understanding of behavior. She then went on to speak of the different kinds of behavioural problems in dementia patients and the effect on caregivers.
  • She then listed out the various reasons for behavioural changes in dementia patients and encouraged the audience to share their own experiences.
  • She spoke about the impact of environment, how behavior is viewed culturally and social behavioural norms, and most importantly to try to practically examine a change in behavior and analyse if it is truly problematic.
  • Further Divya went on to talk about how the caregiver could systematically try and examine the cause for a changed behavior in the patient.
  • Amulya's talk was about how one could deal with different behavioural problems with specific reference to particularly problematic behaviours.
  • She began her talk with the need to understand rather than try to control. Further she stated the different ways in which the caregiver could understand the patient's behaviour by assessing for very specific aspects of it like the current environment, the knowledge of the individual and the CG's past experience with the patient.
  • She then began to talk about specific behaviours and how to cope with them.
  • The different behaviours touched upon were- 'Shadowing', 'Wandering', 'Repetitive questioning', 'Hallucinations, delusions and suspicions', 'Embarrassing behaviour', 'Agitation and Anxiety', 'Aggression-verbal and physical',
  • The session ended with caregivers posing questions about their own issues with patient behaviours and a group discussion about how these could be dealt with. The attendees then expressed their gratitude to the facilitators for talking about such a problematic facet of dementia care and spoke of their need for more such discussions on the topic in the future.