Dementia is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Memory loss is an example. In other words, it is characterised by a gradual decline of mental faculties which can at best be slowed down (and not arrested) through proper care and love by the family members.
When Porosh is invited for conducting counselling sessions of the clients suffering from dementia we make it a point at first to meet the concerned individual and the family members. It is an important cog in the wheel as one needs to understand the extent of dementia the person is afflicted with. Speaking to the family members is equally important to know about the person and his/ her past. After that we take a conscious call to either accept the responsibility, or to reject it.
Our experience dealing with such cases has been a mixed bag. In some cases, we have been able to make bed-ridden clients hale and hearty and yet there have also been a few where we have fallen short of our own expectations. In course of weekly review we discuss about the progress of all the clients. In course of this exercise we have realized that success, or failure of the counselling sessions to a great extent is also dependent on the family members.
Beyond an iota of doubt if the family members continue to show sympathy and exude warmth in dealing with persons suffering from dementia, after the counsellors set the tone, then does a world of good. On the contrary, if the role of family members is cold apathy and neglect then no matter how effective the counselling sessions are the client’s condition will continue to deteriorate at a faster rate. And that is indeed very frustrating.