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Healthy eating is essential for everyone in every age group. It becomes even more vital after reaching midlife and beyond. The diet plays a pivotal role in improving your elderly’s resistance to diseases, their energy levels and mental acuteness. It helps them in maintaining their physical and emotional health. Convincing a senior citizen and ensuring they eat healthily can get a little tricky and confusing as eating healthy is often equated to being deprived of delicious food. However, if you plan a healthy, satiating and energising diet, they will benefit holistically.

Read on to know how you can make your elderly eat healthy with a few simple solutions. Optimum Intake of Fruits & Vegetables:

When it comes to fruits, you should aim to provide 2-3 servings each day. To make it enjoyable, think beyond banana and apple. Explore the seasonal variety and treat them with colourful-rich pickings. Likewise, serve a variety of nutritious and colourful vegetables. Add vegetables with high antioxidant properties like broccoli, spinach and colourful ones like carrot and capsicum. It is essential that your elderly eats at least 2-3 cups of vegetables every day.

Take Calcium-Rich Diet:

With age, the body machinery starts giving up. The human bones are vulnerable. It is a greater challenge among females as their bones become fragile post-menopause. So, you must ensure that your elderly consumes a calcium-rich diet. Among others, add milk, curd and cheese in their diet. However, if they have any dairy-related allergies, then you should look for non-dairy alternatives like kale, almonds and tofu.
You should check with the doctor for allergies and accordingly plan a dairy or non-dairy rich calcium diet.

Choose Healthy Fats:

Healthy also benefit with better mood and brain functioning. It is also an effective way of protecting them against diseases. Thereby, it is essential that you explore healthy fats like Omega 3s and plan their diet around it.
If your ageing elderly have any heart-related issue, then follow the doctor’s advice before including these healthy fats in their diet.

Healthy Proteins:

Like fat, there are many sources of proteins. While it is fine to indulge in a variety of proteins once in a while, include only easy-to-digest ones in your elderly’s everyday diet. You can add fish, chicken, egg, nuts, pulses and soya in optimum quantity. These sources of proteins will work as mood and energy boosters. However, give salami, hot dog and bacon a miss as these can increase the risk of heart problems.
Proteins are slightly difficult to digest for your elderly. So, you should check with the doctor and accordingly include healthy proteins in their breakfast and lunch.

Add Fibre:

As the digestive system of your ageing elderly gets affected, providing an optimum quantity of fibre is a must. Adding fibre is also essential for its various other benefits like it reduces the risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and facilitates weight loss. It is generally prescribed that men should have 30 grams of fibre every day and woman should have 21 grams post 50 years.
Like proteins, you should try to provide more of fibre during breakfast, mid-morning snack and lunch.

Choose Smart Carbs:

You should include whole grains over processed carbohydrates in your senior’s diet as they are nutrient and fibre rich. The processed carbs, on the other hand, can increase the blood sugar levels of your elderly. Besides, if you try to limit the intake of white flour or rice suddenly, then your elderly will feel hungry more often and will tend to overeat.
You should consult the doctor in case of a sudden drop or increase in sugar levels, and gradually change the carbohydrate intake in your senior’s diet.
In a nutshell, you should plan your ageing elderly’s meal in the below manner:

  • Optimum fruits, vegetables, proteins and fibre
  • Regulate the intake of carbs
  • Provide healthy fat
  • Ensure optimum water intake

If you need the guidance of a professional in planning your senior’s diet, then you can consult our nutritionist at Samvedna Senior Care, a renowned elder care in Delhi & Gurgaon. We offer meal planning and diet monitoring for senior citizens. If there are any restrictions according to the medical condition, you can inform the nutrition experts. The nutritionist will plan the diet and monitor it regularly. Providing the diet plan is only one aspect but regular monitoring and making the elderly aware is the key. For that personal touch and care, you should get in touch with Samvedna Senior Care and ensure your senior receives a nutritious diet under the guidance of a professional. Know more about our general well-being plan and give your senior a well-balanced meal.

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Dementia is a neurological disorder; it is progressive and chronic and affects the cognitive function of your ageing senior. It affects their thinking process, memory, ability to calculate, judge, learn and comprehend. This cognitive impairment slowly also affects the emotional and social behaviour of your elderly. The concern is that it is the most common cause of dependency among seniors, and it affects everyone differently. According to the World Health Organization, there are around 50 million people having dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. It gets diagnosed as Alzheimer’s in some or Vascular dementia in others. Dementia is not a specific disease. Instead, it refers to particular symptoms related to a decline in memory.
When your senior gets diagnosed with dementia, it is essential that you surround them with love, care and affection. You should keep them engaged and calm. A structured group of activities may not always work. Instead, research for brief and straightforward activities for dementia patients that will be effective and accomplishing. Some of these activities in which you can engage your senior with dementia include,

Games & Puzzles:

Engage your ageing elderly with dementia in simple and involving games. You can get some board games like Ludo, snakes and ladders, easy crossword puzzles, Scrabble, jumbled words or card matching game. Such games will keep them busy, and they will be happy to win and complete it. However, it is not advisable to get complex activities or games and tricky puzzles, which if they are not able to play, will be demotivating for them.

Outdoor Activities & Exercises:

The intent is to keep your senior busy and happy, so along with the above indoor games, you can involve them in some outdoor activities too. Like gardening, stroll in the park, sitting and deep breathing exercises. During summers, you can also take them for a swim to encourage physical activity and socialisation. These will be mood boosters and refreshing for the elderly. However, during all the outdoor activities, you must accompany your elderly.

Music Activities:

This can be an amazingly soothing and calming activity. You should also try playing their favourite music to help them connect and recall. When someone has dementia, they can remember past incidents and habits more effectively as compared with the recent ones. If you know of some music from their childhood days, then play that and see them walk down the memory lane.

Art Activities:

As they can recall the activities of the past more efficiently, you can also involve them in their creative hobbies. Like if your elderly enjoys craft or artwork, knitting or painting, get them small and simple kits, and they will be happy and busy.

Routine Activities:

Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s does not mean that you stop your elderly from doing the day to day activities. Instead, you should engage them in simple activities like helping in baking, cooking or sorting vegetables, folding clothes, managing bookshelves and assisting with pet walking.

You can try the above set of activities with your elderly and help them significantly when they get diagnosed with Dementia. When dealing with dementia patients, you will need to be patient. However, the condition may deteriorate, over time, and you will need professional assistance. When you need someone, who can help you and your senior sail through this phase, then trust Samvedna Senior Care in Delhi. We offer complete dementia care including carrying out cognitive assessments, group programs, home care programs and caregiver support. Together we can make this phase of your senior’s life easy and happy. There are many benefits for dementia patients and their families in seeking help from organizations like Samvedna Senior Care. We are your extended family and will help you provide the best care for your elderly. Know more about our dementia care services and connect with us today for your elderly.

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Samvedna Senior Care conducted its Dementia Support Group (DSG) for caregivers of Dementia patient on 4th May, 2019. A group of caregivers from Gurgaon and Delhi attended the meeting. The agenda of the meeting was to share knowledge about Dementia and to understand the challenges faced by families. The session was opened by Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta.

Dr. Jayashree initiated the talk by introducing the concept of Dementia and the most common type of dementia which is Alzheimer’s. She also explained the common signs and symptoms of dementia such as- comprehension, language, hallucinations, judgment, and orientation. She also explained how dementia is different from normal signs of ageing and forgetfulness. She further discussed about the stages of dementia and its progressions.

During the meeting caregivers shared their experience in handling challenging behavior of their loved ones. Dr. Jayashree suggested how redirection, self-care and shared caregiving is important and how it will help the caregivers to avoid burnout. She shared about Parkinsons and its relation with Dementia. The methods of dementia treatment such as pharmacological interventions and non-pharmacological interventions like mind stimulation, physical activity, social activity were discussed. Caregiver stress and its importance were also discussed in the meeting. Dr. Jayshree concluded the meeting by discussing the importance of setting up adequate social support for the elderly and family.

In the question and answer session participants asked about the causes and triggers of dementia, young onset dementia, importance of exercise and diet for a person with dementia. The audience participated actively and appreciated the meeting as all there queries were discussed and answered.

Mr Ibrahim Ahmad, Participant - Dementia Support Group

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com

Dementia Support Group – Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-support-group

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As part of the dementia awareness drive by Samvedna Senior Care Foundation, seven free memory screening camps were conducted across Delhi NCR and Gurgaon in the month of March-April 2019. Areas covered included RWAs/SCAs of Safdarjung Enclave, Sukhdev Vihar, Laxmi Nagar, and Samvedna senior centres in Gurgaon and Anand Niketan, Delhi. More than 100+ people were screened for memory impairments and related concerns.

Why you should attend a memory screening, if you are above 55 years of age

A memory screening is an evaluation of memory and thinking skills. It can help in deciding if a detailed assessment is required by a geriatric physician or neuropsychologist.

After the age of 55 years, some decline in cognitive function is expected. However, if the following symptoms are seen, it might be a sign of dementia.

  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble remembering directions
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Trouble in making decisions
  • Repetitive questions

The initial signs of dementia have been found to be present even 10 years before getting a formal diagnosis in many people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

If such people receive timely help, then the disease can be slowed down drastically. This helps improve the quality of life for those suffering from dementia and their caregivers.

Insights from the Samvedna Senior Care Foundation Drive for Dementia Awareness

From our experience, we have learnt that many people are unaware of the symptoms of dementia. Many didn’t know that a family history of stroke or heart attacks contribute to a high risk factor for themselves developing dementia and related diseases.

Mild cognitive impairment is often mistaken to be a sign of normal old age. It can be caused by reversible conditions such as vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems, or by illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. We were able to provide information about the difference between dementia and normal aging.

Many of the screening participants expressed their interest in learning more about dementia and how to take preventive action against developing cognitive impairment and living productively in their old age.

Attending a memory screening also helps you see how your memory is now and helps in providing a baseline for future reference.

Several senior citizens are facing mental health challenges and were recommended for counselling to address their tensions and help improve the quality of their lives.

Samvedna Senior Care Foundation was set up in December 2016 to promote dementiacare and active ageing.

We bring together dementia caregivers through a support group and have community based programmes for seniors with early dementia, depression or other minor cognitive impairments.

We facilitate active ageing through senior centres, and events and workshops on subjects like learning smartphones, interpersonal relationships and more.

All our counsellors are psychologists or gerontologists. Know more about our services here

To make a donation and help us in our efforts click here

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On 16th February, 2019 Samvedna Senior Care Foundation conducted its Support Group meeting for caregivers of dementia patients. A group of caregivers from in and around Gurgaon and Delhi came to attend the meeting. The topic of discussion for the meeting was “Importance of early detection and intervention and managing challenging behavior”. The session was opened by Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta, Project Director, Samvedna Senior Care.

The meeting started with a brief icebreaking session where all the participants (caregivers) introduced themselves and shared their experiences about their loved ones.  Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta initiated the talk while focusing on the different dynamics of dementia and its importance of early detection of the disorder. Caregivers shared about their hard times in handling their loved ones and how they became more accepting of the disorder. The session was interactive with participants learning from each other’s experience.

A common challenge shared by all was – how to introduce professional help for their loved ones. Some of them also shared about family dynamics playing a part in the decision making process whereas others had challenge with their loved ones being highly intellectual and refusing help. These issues were discussed at length and some ideas were exchanged on how to break the resistance. It was interesting to hear one caregiver share that they had introduced the attendant as a nurse from a nearby hospital. They also made some important social behavior changes to integrate the attendant as a family member for easier acceptance.

The other challenge shared by the participants was about how the personality of their loved ones deterred them from making some changes in their care ecosystems like clothes and personal care. Dr. Jayashree emphasized to the caregivers to make the changes gradually, since the progression of the disease over a period of time will make it inevitable for the person with dementia to seek more help.

Dr. Jayashree also discussed the need for cognitive stimulation and socialization as being integral to the care of a person with dementia. Lastly the session ended with question and answer rounds where some caregivers discussed their problem and how Samvedna Senior Care could help them.

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com

Dementia Support Group – Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-support-group

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Samvedna Senior Care has been conducting dementia support group meetings for families regularly for the past 5 years. As a part of our interactions we have come across many caregivers and heard their experience in handling their loved ones. Caring for an individual with dementia can be challenging and at times it can also be overwhelming. Frustration and stress is a normal and valid emotional response to many of the difficulties faced by a caregiver. While some irritation may be a part of everyday life as a caregiver, feeling extreme frustration can have serious consequences for the caregiver or the person they care for. It negatively impacts the caregiver’s physical health and may lead to some serious consequences.

In discussion with various caregivers the following came up as being critical to how they handled the stress factors:

  • Acceptance vs. Denial: The changing behavior of the person and transformation into a different personality is most painful. The fact that each day maybe different for a person with dementia is painful. If you are hoping that your loved one is not ill, or expecting to get better or convincing yourself that he/she will get better then you are most likely refusing to accept the diagnosis of dementia. As hard as it maybe it is important to recognize and acknowledge your loved one’s condition. It is important for us to understand that nothing is in our control and the only way we can succeed is to accept the situation. The dementia world is a gentle, loving and caring place. If we could experience their world then we would realize that all their behaviors that are stressing us are normal for them.

“I accepted my mother and accepted how she will react and say. As a result of acceptance I actually ended up being happy myself. The day I learned to embrace my mother’s health condition was the happiest days of my life”.Col Yadav, caregiver to his 90 year old mother.

  • A sense of purpose after giving up a career: Caregiving responsibilities can interrupt work on a daily basis. This causes lost hours / days on the job and in some cases lost promotions and wages. In some cases caregivers have no choice but to leave their job in order to take care of their loved ones.

“I had a decent job and I was satisfied with it. Seeing my father’s heath condition I had no other option but to leave my job. Till a point I regretted but seeing my father happy and caring for him in his need makes me feel good and satisfied. It depend how you see your work”. A daughter

  • Caring for yourself along with the emotional toll: The journey of the family is inevitably filled with stress and mixed emotions. It is important to do what is necessary for your health in order to take care of your loved one. Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, causes a long, slow deterioration of mental and physical capacity. Watching this is painful and takes an enormous toll on caregivers who must try to remain positive and upbeat.
  • Family Dynamics:  Mostly women feel more responsible in their caregiving duties than men, and try to balance multiple tasks like raising children, caring for elderly parents and managing a job. Many times people admit to us that it is easy to care for one’s own parents than for the in-laws as the bonds are much deeper. Often past relationships with the person with dementia causes caregiver stress, negligence and avoidance. What is interesting is that many women caregivers complain that their mothers-in-law affected by Dementia are still demanding of them while being nicer to the sons!
  • Guilt: Caregivers feel guilt over feelings that they want it all to end, or being impatient with the care receiver too much. Some children feel that they are not doing enough for the mother/father and blame themselves for their condition. Some caregivers feel guilty about thinking of their own needs and see themselves as being selfish if they take time out for their own socialization needs.

These stress factors in turn lead to negativity and other changes in the personality of the caregiver:

  • Anger is a normal part of being around someone who needs help on an ongoing basis and who might not be accepting of help. Caring for someone with dementia in particular can be even harder, as the care receiver can be irrational and aggressive. It is not always possible to be in perfect control of your emotions. Anger “just comes out” sometimes.

“She knows how to do that work, she cannot do it now”. 

  • Social withdrawal from friends and activities that used to make you feel good. As a caregiver shared  “There was a time when I use to involve myself, now I don’t feel like going out and meeting people.”
  • Anxiety about the future and facing another day. No two days are the same for a person with dementia and caregivers can get anxious about coping with the sudden change in behavior.
    “What happens when they need more care then what will I do?”
  • Depression – feeling hopeless or helpless, the inability to sleep, or trouble getting up and facing the day for prolonged periods of time without any respite can be extremely detrimental to your mental health.
  • Exhaustion – sometimes as a caregiver, you feel that you can’t do anything right or that things just don’t go as planned no matter what you do or how hard you try. And if you are physically and emotionally tired, you are more likely to get frustrated with your loved one. “He doesn’t wear his diapers, earlier he used to do all his work by his own.”

Caregiving can take you to a different chapter in life, and there must be a time when you feel guilty of “not doing enough”, you ask “why my parent”. There are some occasions where you overlook your work, inappropriate behavior causes you social embarrassment, you miss the person who is no longer there for you.  When you are unsatisfied, it is important to differentiate between what is and what is not within your power to change. Frustration often arises out of trying to change an uncontrollable circumstance. As a caregiver for a person with dementia, you face many situations in normal daily living activities. Unfortunately, we cannot simply change the behavior of a person with dementia so we have to cope according to their needs. Stress among caregivers ultimately affects quality of care that is being provided to the patient.

We often see that caregivers are unprepared to provide care due to inadequate knowledge about care giving along with financial burden and physical and emotional stress. It is important for the caregivers to seek professional help through support group meetings, forums and interacting with counsellors to cope with their stress levels.

Remember the Dementia patient is not giving you a hard time, the dementia patient is having a hard time. – Anonymous

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com

Our Dementia Care services are

At-home services –
Dementia intervention activities by trained Care Specialists (already mentioned above). These services are available in Delhi NCR. More – http://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-care

In-Home Trained Attendant Service –
Samvedna Senior Care’s trained in-home attendant service brings to you verified attendants and nurses, specially trained by specialists in elder care and dementia. Our staff is trained to not only take care of your elderly loved one’s physical wellbeing through top class personal care and nursing, but also their emotional wellbeing.  The attendants are monitored by our Senior Care Specialists (psychologists and MSWs)

Our service is available across Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. We offer both male and female attendants as per request, for 12 and 24 hour shifts. Know more about our Trained Attendant Services herehttp://www.samvednacare.com/attendant-care-services.

Counselling for Ageing Related Disorders in Anand Niketan, New Delhi –
Studies show that elderly may be more prone to depression and loneliness, which can lead to higher rates of unhappiness. To address this issue, we have designed counselling and therapies for seniors with anxiety, low mood or depression, mild cognitive impairment/ memory difficulties, or dementia. More –https://www.samvednacare.com/counselling

Dementia Cafe, Sector 57 Gurgaon –
From initial stage to advanced stage, all individuals with dementia feel the need for social interaction at times. Our Dementia Cafe is a safe and friendly place for your loved one with dementia to chill and socialize. The cafe is aplace where they will find a fun activity, a warm chair and companionship. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11-1PM. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-cafe

Cognitive Wellness Programme, Sector 57  Gurgaon  –
Samvedna’s Cognitive Wellness Programme is designed for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, early dementia or Parkinson’s,and elderly lacking in enthusiasm and motivation. The aim is to stimulate the mind of the elderly to slow the progression of the disease or impairment. The sessions are 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11AM-1PM. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/cognitive-wellness-programme

Dementia Support Group –
Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-support-group

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This article is the first in our series on dementia care, written by Dr Jayashree Dasgupta, MPhil, PhD, Neuropsychology, NIMHANS.

What is Dementia ?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms where there is a gradual death of brain cells that eventually lead to problems in thinking and behavior.  There are many types of dementia and this is the leading cause of disability amongst the elderly. In fact, globally, there are about 50 million people with dementia and in India alone, there are over 4 million people with the disease. Staggeringly, one person develops dementia every 3 seconds which means 10 million new cases develop every year.

Although there are many types of dementia, the most common is Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for about 70% of all dementias. In the initial stages, a person may experience difficulty remembering things and making simple decisions, have difficulty finding words to express themselves and have episodes of confusion. Since the person usually has awareness about their difficulties at this stage, they often make attempts to hide memory lapses and excuses to avoid things they find difficult. Often, this is done very successfully making it hard to identify the initial symptoms. Both family members as well as the dementia patient themselves, often overlook these symptoms as being a normal part of ageing. However, it is important to remember that although age is the largest risk factor for dementia it is not a normal part of the aging process.

Reasons for change in behavior

So why do these problem behaviors occur? All our behavior is the result of billions of neurons that form a complex network and communicate with each other inside our brain, pretty much like a highly-complex rail network. But in Alzheimer’s disease, there are changes in the brain that disrupt these networks causing a breakdown in communication and neuronal death. Scientists understand that this is due to abnormal ways in which proteins behave causing what are known as neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques.

In a healthy brain, protein fragments (amyloid) are broken down and eliminated from the body. However, in Alzheimer’s disease, these accumulate to form hard insoluble clumps or plaques in the spaces between neurons. Neurofibrillary tangles are found within a cell and formed as a result of abnormal Tau protein which is essential for building the cell’s transport network for nutrients, and other important substances. Once this essential transport system gets disrupted, the cells die. Imagine a highly efficient rail network (our brain) delivering goods (our behaviors). Over a period of time, if garbage accumulates at a particular junction the network gets blocked and goods cannot be delivered. Also, if there is disruption to a train’s fuel supply, the train won’t be able to run and eventually get discontinued. This is similar to how amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles cause communication blocks and brain cell death in Alzheimer’s disease. The loss of memory and other behavioral problems are a result of this breakdown.

Need for cognitive stimulation

Unfortunately, scientists do not yet know how to stop or change these abnormal processes in the brain and there is no cure for dementia. However, that does not mean there is nothing one can do. Research has shown that cognitive stimulation and engaging in new activities helps slow progression of the illness and maintain quality of life. But how does cognitive stimulation help? The brain has a unique property called neuroplasticity which is the ability to reorganize itself by making new neuronal connections. Going back to how thinking about the neuronal connections in the brain like a train network, this would be similar to finding another route by which to deliver goods, bypassing the blocked junction. This property of neuroplasticity helps the brain adjust itself to disease and is believed to act as a buffer in some individuals. Although it will not reverse the degenerative processes, by encouraging and supporting a person with dementia to remain engaged in mentally stimulating activities, one can help stimulate the brain to make new connections and help maintain well-being.

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com

Our Dementia Care services are

At-home services –
Dementia intervention activities by trained Care Specialists (already mentioned above). These services are available in Delhi NCR. More – http://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-care

In-Home Trained Attendant Service –
Samvedna Senior Care’s trained in-home attendant service brings to you verified attendants and nurses, specially trained by specialists in elder care and dementia. Our staff is trained to not only take care of your elderly loved one’s physical wellbeing through top class personal care and nursing, but also their emotional wellbeing.  The attendants are monitored by our Senior Care Specialists (psychologists and MSWs)

Our service is available across Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. We offer both male and female attendants as per request, for 12 and 24 hour shifts. Know more about our Trained Attendant Services herehttp://www.samvednacare.com/attendant-care-services.

Counselling for Ageing Related Disorders in Anand Niketan, New Delhi –
Studies show that elderly may be more prone to depression and loneliness, which can lead to higher rates of unhappiness. To address this issue, we have designed counselling and therapies for seniors with anxiety, low mood or depression, mild cognitive impairment/ memory difficulties, or dementia. More –https://www.samvednacare.com/counselling

Dementia Cafe, Sector 57 Gurgaon –
From initial stage to advanced stage, all individuals with dementia feel the need for social interaction at times. Our Dementia Cafe is a safe and friendly place for your loved one with dementia to chill and socialize. The cafe is aplace where they will find a fun activity, a warm chair and companionship. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11-1PM. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-cafe

Cognitive Wellness Programme, Sector 57  Gurgaon  –
Samvedna’s Cognitive Wellness Programme is designed for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, early dementia or Parkinson’s,and elderly lacking in enthusiasm and motivation. The aim is to stimulate the mind of the elderly to slow the progression of the disease or impairment. The sessions are 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11AM-1PM. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/cognitive-wellness-programme

Dementia Support Group –
Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-support-group

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Samvedna Senior Care Foundation held it Dementia Support Group meeting for family members of persons with dementia on January 5th , 2019. The event was held at our senior centre in Gurgaon. Dr. Jayashree Dasgupta, MPhil, PhD, Neuropsychology, NIMHANS, presided over the meeting, the topic for this meeting was “Caregiver stress and coping strategies”.

Dr. Jayashree initiated the discussion by asking the participants (caregivers) how they felt about taking care of their loved ones.  Some of the common problems shared by all participants while dealing with their loved ones were – restlessness, sleep cycle disorder, fear of falls, hygiene issues and struggling with their own emotions. Caregivers further shared about their glitches of stigmatization, guilt and issues like financial constraints and finding a good attendant/ help for their loved ones.

The participants shared their experience and tips in handling dementia patients in the group. Some of them mentioned how they missed the person who was no longer there for them and it was evident that many of them were still struggling to understand and accept their family member’s condition completely.

Dr. Jayashree advised the participants on how they could deal with their challenges and how to not overwhelm themselves by clustering all the issues. She explained that it is best to classify the challenges and then deal with them one at a time, she also advised to prioritize and work on solutions for each challenge. She emphasized to the caregivers the importance of taking time off from their responsibilities and relaxing themselves.

Dr. Jayashree also explained the importance of cognitive stimulation activities and how important it is to involve dementia patients into activities that they love. During the session there were questions raised by the caregivers about different problems, these were also taken up by the Samvedna Dementia counsellors and some of the families too shared their experiences.

The group also strongly felt the need for better support systems like day care centers, more support group meetings and need for trained caregivers to help the families.

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com

Dementia Support Group – Our Dementia Support group in Delhi NCR is a platform for caregivers to share feelings and support each other. More – https://www.samvednacare.com/dementia-support-group

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When an elderly member of the family gets diagnosed with a chronic ailment which might require long term care, one has to plan the caregiving responsibilities. One needs to rope in all the support available, professional caregivers/attendants can be of tremendous help if hired through reliable professional organizations. Hiring the right attendant and then building a rapport with her/him goes a long way in helping manage the elderly’s care. A good helping hand can free you up to let you take care of your personal and professional commitments, health and socializing needs and overall help reduce caregiving effort. 

Once you have identified a good attendant it is important to build a relationship with her because it will help in:

1) Building ownership and responsibility – One should be willing to help them setup the care initially and communicate with them regularly. Sharing your caregiving goals with them and helping them understand the requirements can help build responsibility. Encouraging and acknowledging them regularly will motivate them to stay committed to their duties.

2) Going that extra mile – If the attendant connects well with you then she will be able to manage her own caregiving stress. Many a times the elderly can be impolite or extremely demanding because of pain or their condition, in times like these it is important to empathize with the attendant and help them understand the condition of the elderly. With a good communication mechanism established the attendant would be willing to go that extra mile to discharge her duties.

3) Help them maintain continuity – Many times caregivers get frustrated with a particular family/household and ask for rotation duties. However, if one establishes a good rapport then it will earn you their loyalty. Checking up on them regularly and taking care of their reasonable personal needs can help cement a good relationship based on mutual respect, trust and affection.

So how does one form a good rapport?

1) Clarify commitment and responsibilities – The foremost thing is to set your expectation and clarify the duties which you need help for. Share your caregiving goals so that you are both on the same page. For example if your loved one is bed ridden, then hygiene and helping them turn around frequently to avoid bed sores could be a very important care goal. Ask the attendant to share his/her understanding in order to avoid any communication gap.   

2) Ensure language is no barrier If one can get an attendant who speaks the same language it can help a lot. But this may not be practically possible all the time. However, make sure that language poses no barrier in communication.

3) Approach each individual with an open mind– It is important to review and be aware of the attendant’s past experience. There could be some tasks he/she has not done earlier, help them understand those tasks and encourage them to seek clarifications. Give them a three to four days to settle in get comfortable with their duties.

4) Communicate often Caregivers are given the important duty of providing support and encouragement to your elderly loved one. Being in touch with them over the phone a couple of times during the day can help build a good relationship. Too much supervision or being totally hands off will not help and can be detrimental to building the relationship. Many a times attendants tell us that the family is too busy to even acknowledge them and understand their challenges. Remember you have hired them for caregiving support but you still remain the primary caregiver. It is important to make some effort and check on them regularly, while creating a safe space for the attendants to express their thoughts about their role and their concern for the person receiving care.

5) Encourage and show gratitude – A caregiver’s responsibilities whether paid or unpaid can be stressful. It is important to acknowledge and thank them regularly for their contribution. Small tokens of appreciation like a smile, a hug or some time off can make a lot of difference in the quality of care. Take time for a conversation expressing your appreciation of the important role they play in your loved ones life.

A great advise by Mother Teresa – “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.”

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.

In-Home Trained Attendant Service

Samvedna Senior Care’s trained in-home attendant service brings to you verified attendants and nurses, specially trained by specialists in elder care and dementia. Our staff is trained to not only take care of your elderly loved one’s physical wellbeing through top class personal care and nursing, but also their emotional wellbeing.  The attendants are monitored by our Senior Care Specialists (psychologists and MSWs)

Our service is available across Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. We offer both male and female attendants as per request, for 12 and 24 hour shifts.

Know more about our Trained Attendant Services here http://www.samvednacare.com/attendant-care-services. You can also call us on 98184 00561 or write to us on contact@samvednacare.com.

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Dark mornings and even darker evenings with chilly grey days in between means winter is here — and with the cold season comes the winter blues.

If you or your loved one struggle with the “winter blues” you know how difficult it can be to make it through the holiday season. Although winter does bring in the festive holidays it also means less sunlight, shorter days and colder weather. As a result it leads to reduced physical activity, more sleep, less interest in activities, social withdrawal, unhealthy eating and a general sense of feeling low.

This condition is termed medically as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it can happen at the onset of any season. However, winter depression or winter blues are the most common. Serotonin and melatonin levels both drop significantly which causes major changes in sleep and mood—two critical components of overall health and wellness.

During winter months many elderly may find themselves feeling low and down, it can be due to reduced sunlight, shorter days, and the holidays coming to an end or they could be missing their loved ones.

Here are a few tips for elderly to follow which will help in dealing with low mood during the winter months –

1) Brighten up the surroundings- allowing enough sunlight into the home can help brighten up the mood instantly, intake of Vitamin D from natural light works as a mood enhancer and it is also good for overall health. Getting natural light in winters can at times be a challenge, light therapy can be an option to treat SAD symptoms and other conditions by exposure to artificial light.

2) Eat a balanced diet – Eating a balanced diet is essential for older adults and is a natural way to boost mood and energy. Improved nutrition also helps prevent colds, flu and injuries that are more prevalent in cold weather. As we all know requirement of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fluids changes in old age hence all these nutrients need to be packaged in easy to digest small meals which can be spread throughout the day. Adding plenty of natural colours to your diet with one or two seasonal fruits can be a good source of anti-oxidants.

3) Stay Active – Exercise, while important all year round, can be vital in lifting the mood during the winter months. Physical activity such as Yoga, Frankel exercises help    increase the blood flow to the whole body. Retaining good flexibility for joint movement through stretching really helps when wearing layers to combat the cold. Performing a minimal amount of daily physical movement and exercise also helps prolong memory loss and cognitive decline associated with aging.

4) Planning for events – Whether looking forward to a party or celebration, or planning / redecorating for an upcoming event, it can help create positive feelings. Inviting family members over for lunch, having brunch outside with grand children or visiting friends can help generate positive emotions and excitement.

5) Stick to a Schedule – When experiencing the winter blues, it can be tempting to alter your schedule to avoid activities and socialization – and hibernate instead, but one should try to maintain their schedule of going out, exercising or visiting any community services.  Changes in schedule can also lead to disturbances in mood.

6) Accomplish Goals – If you’ve been putting off a task, whether big or small, winter is the time to tackle it and complete it. For this you can maintain a to-do list and write all your task as per priority and when completed you can cross it off, it will motivate you to complete more tasks on your list, and help you feel better and energetic.

7) Socialize – Being around other people and/or talking to them can lift your spirits. Get together with friends or family or simply give them a call, a small get-togethers with loved ones can help brighten the mood.

8) Mind StimulationMental exercises such as crosswords, puzzles, Sudoku, Scrabble can help one stay mentally alert. Reading a good book by the fire place or in the sun can lift the mood and help stay active.

How can you help as a caregiver to an elderly ?

If a loved one seems a little down this winter, it will be good to make an extra effort to spend some additional time with them. As a caregiver one should be aware of any symptoms of SAD, and look out for them and seek timely help from a doctor or counsellor to counter the depressive symptoms.

As caregivers, it is easy to underestimate the power of communication and connection with those around us. Sometimes a simple afternoon spent with the person you are caring for – listening to music, playing cards or looking at photo albums can drastically improve their mental well-being.

If you are concerned about a loved one’s mental or physical health professional care providers can help with any kind of depressive symptoms through counselling and companionship services for elderly.

We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. Please call us for more info – Delhi NCR – 98184 21446, 124 4229659

Counselling for Ageing Related Disorders in Anand Niketan, New Delhi –

Studies show that elderly may be more prone to depression and loneliness, which can lead to higher rates of unhappiness. To address this issue, we have designed counselling and therapies for seniors with anxiety, low mood or depression, mild cognitive impairment/ memory difficulties, or dementia.

More – https://www.samvednacare.com/counselling

General Wellbeing:

With our General Well Being Services we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors, specially those who may have limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints. Our interactive programme keeps them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities, all in the comfort of their home.

More – http://samvednacare.com/general-wellbeing

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