Dr. Dhananjay Chavan is a psychiatrist, a geriatrician, an author and an entrepreneur. He is a practicing doctor in Pune’s prestigious Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital. He has developed training programs for elderly and conducts mediation workshops for them around the globe. He also has an MD in Psychiatry and his postdoctoral fellowship is in Geriatric Mental Health. HappyAging had an exclusive discussion with Dr. Chavan on mental health and well-being of senior citizens and also his latest book – The Senior Citizens’ Handbook.
Dr. Chavan says that caregiving is a stressful job and depression in caregivers is very common. The needs of caregivers often get ignored, especially in India because it is considered as one’s duty to take care of family members and parents. They often get burnt out and overwhelmed in the process of caregiving. Therefore, there’s a need to have self-help groups for caregivers in India. Experts also should spend time with the patient and caregiver both, and explain them about the illness in details. The caregivers must educate themselves as much as possible about the basics of the illness, and play on the patient’s strength. Most importantly, they must learn to look after themselves to avoid getting burnt out.
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