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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237-238

Caring for the carers of people living with dementia – Looking after yourself as a carer


1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Rehabilitation, National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission22-Nov-2022
Date of Decision23-Nov-2022
Date of Acceptance23-Nov-2022
Date of Web Publication27-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pallerla Srikanth
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiag.jiag_64_22

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How to cite this article:
Srikanth P, Reddy G. Caring for the carers of people living with dementia – Looking after yourself as a carer. J Indian Acad Geriatr 2022;18:237-8

How to cite this URL:
Srikanth P, Reddy G. Caring for the carers of people living with dementia – Looking after yourself as a carer. J Indian Acad Geriatr [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 8];18:237-8. Available from: http://www.jiag.com/text.asp?2022/18/4/237/365783



Dear Editor,

Dementia is a chronic progressive neurological condition, which affects the cognitive, behavioral, and social skills that impair an individual's ability to function independently. As per the World Health Organization, dementia is one of the primary causes of disability and dependency among older people and the seventh largest cause of death among all diseases.[1] It not only impacts the affected individuals but also their caregivers in different domains (physical, emotional, financial, social, and vocational). As per the Alzheimer's dementia International latest report 2022, every three seconds, someone worldwide develops dementia. By 2020, there will be more than 55 million people living with dementia (PlwD) worldwide.[2] By 2030, there will be 78 million people, and by 2050, there will be 139 million people.[2] By 2050, 71% of PlwD would reside in low- and middle-income nations, up from the current 60%. Each year, there are more than 10 million new instances of dementia worldwide. As per the latest World Alzheimer Report 2022, 54% of the family caregivers (FCGs) of PlwD have reported stress all of the time.

In developing countries, the majority of the PlwD live with their families; providing care to a PlwD is well-known to be a stressful experience that can affect both physical and mental health of the FCGs.[3] These FCGs often experience much higher burden, and prone to develop mental health issues.[4] The FCGs often indulge in enormous amount of caregiving by sidelining their personal needs. They tend to prioritize the PlwD needs over their needs, and provide extraordinary uncompensated care. This caregiving responsibility demands the FCG's physical, emotional, financial, social, and vocational needs. Hence, as a mental health care professional, I would want to give some useful tips to the FCG's to manage their lives better with their PlwD.

This has divided into two categories such as PlwD related and FCGs related.

PlwD related:

  • Know about the neurological conditions, it's symptoms from authorized resources
  • Importance of early identification of symptoms and seeking medical help from appropriate services on time
  • Manage the comorbid conditions effectively on a regular basis
  • Insights about the importance of treatment and drug adherence
  • Know about the successful communication skills
  • Learn about how to involve them in performing their activities of daily living (ADLs) or how to do their ADLs effectively
  • Know about how handle the behavioral problems
  • Know about managing the wandering behavior
  • Insights about safety measures and fall reduction strategies
  • Know and participating in PlwD peer support groups
  • Know about the disability certification process and disability welfare benefits
  • Know about the usage of required mobility aids and appliances, if required.


FCGs of PlwD related:

  • Share your roles and responsibilities with the other family members
  • Seek help from others whenever needed
  • Enhance your social support system organizations (nongovernment's, hospitals, local organizations, and welfare associations)
  • Know and participating in caregiver support groups
  • Know and practicing healthy coping skills
  • Take therapeutic breaks whenever possible
  • Share your worries/issues with friends, family, and other trusted ones
  • Know about the related health-care toll-free/helpline numbers
  • Update about the recent trends in dementia care (Internet-based services, telemedicine, and mobile/web-based interventions)
  • Know about the nearby day care centers or rehabilitation centers information
  • Practice healthy living strategies (regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and getting involved with your interests)
  • Practice the self-care management strategies (eating on time and having adequate sleep)
  • Know about the impact of regular social participation.


Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Salomon B. Dementia. Gen Intern Med 1999;14:517. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia. [Last accessed on 2022 Nov 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Alzheimer Report 2022: Life After Diagnosis: Navigating Treatment, Care and Support. 2022 Available from: https://www.alzint.org/resource/world-alzheimer-report-2022/. [Last accessed on 2022 Nov 22].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Sörensen S, Conwell Y. Issues in dementia caregiving: Effects on mental and physical health, intervention strategies, and research needs. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2011;19:491-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Lloyd J, Muers J, Patterson TG, Marczak M. Self-compassion, coping strategies and caregiver burden in caregivers of people with dementia. Clin Gerontol 2019;42:47-59.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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