New initiative known as Memory Café will host a two-hour meeting every month at the Centre’s café for patients with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias and their family members.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21 September, 2021: The DHA’s Seniors' Happiness Centre is encouraging families of patients with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias to join a support group, which will meet on a monthly basis to share experiences, expertise and provide support for patients and caregivers.
The newly enhanced service is known as a Memory Café. Once a month healthcare practitioners from the Seniors’ Happiness Centre will meet with caregivers and patients with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias in the Centre’s café.
Dr Salwa Al Suwaidi, geriatrician and director of the Seniors’ Happiness Centre says: “The Memory Café is an informal and relaxed setting and will encourage active participation and conversations. The initiative will help family members provide the best possible care for patients as well as help boost the morale of patients battling this disease. The aim is to provide emotional, educational, and social support for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Often, we find that as health professionals we also get valuable information from caregivers so the information exchange will be both ways. This kind of active learning, support and encouragement in a relaxed setting will benefit both patients and their caregivers.”
The centre is the sole centre for the elderly in the emirate; it provides a host of in-patient and outpatient geriatric and rehabilitation services.
Al Suwaidi said: “Caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is often very challenging and simple steps like discussing coping mechanisms, strategies and just being there for each other helps caregivers deal with the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis in caring for their loved ones.”
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias suffer from memory and cognitive deterioration, abnormal behaviour, aggressiveness, suspiciousness, insomnia and incontinence and the Memory Café provides an opportunity to discuss tips on how to deal with these issues.
Al Suwaidi says, “Support groups are particularly important for this disease because presently there is still no curative therapy available. Medications can only delay the progression of the illness therefore coping strategies and behavioural therapies are important in dealing with this disease.