As part of our ongoing Caregiver Education and Support Program in collaboration with Nirali, A M Naik Charitable Health care facility Centre, Powai, the third session was held on 9th December 2019. The objective is to educate and help primary caregivers of Dialysis and Renal care patients to improve their well-being.
Caregiver Saathi provides a platform for caregivers to deal with their challenges while also feeling supported and cared for. The program has 12 monthly modules to build resilience and improve the 8 elements of wellbeing. It incorporates various therapies and a support group development program to enable guidance, experience and emotional support from each other.
This session focused on the importance of financial wellbeing and how to improve it. Due to low attendance, this session was more like a one on one interaction with the caregivers. To begin with, we discussed their financial situation and their understanding of financial well-being. We attempted to understand the different types of expenses that occur during the treatment, how many family members earn, if they have investments or savings and how they try to manage their finances.
As the discussion proceeded, we provided the caregivers with a Financial self-care checklist which included information about different Government schemes for Dialysis patients. In order to check their eligibility for the schemes, we would need their Ration card copies. The caregivers were asked to carry these documents for the next session. The social counsellor was also asked to provide us with their Aadhar card and Ration card as she has a record of those.
After providing them with this information, we went ahead and discussed the importance of tracking their expenses. It was evident that the caregivers found it difficult to keep a track of their expenses over the month and to help with this, we distributed Expense trackers. These expense trackers had three categories- Medical expenses, Travelling expenses and other fixed expenses that occur every month. The caregivers were asked to maintain a track of their expenses in this sheet and bring it in for the next session.
Lastly, we encouraged them to fill out a worksheet along with their family members. The worksheet contains questions which will help us understand how they manage their income and expenditure. This worksheet will help us discuss financial well-being in-depth in the coming session.
Recommendations given to the caregivers-
- To gain knowledge about and make use of the available government schemes and financial aid.
- To keep a track of the income and expenses.
- To understand how to invest money in different schemes other than FD that are safe and give assured returns.
- To make a conscious choice between spending more time or money on the treatment.
- Some ideas about work from home were suggested.
- To make the doctors and nurses aware of the support group program so that they can explain the importance of these sessions to the caregivers.
Some of the observations-
- It is easy to provide solutions but when it comes to actually implementing them, it becomes difficult.
- Caregivers tend to have a mindset due to which they majorly focus on the drawbacks rather than the solutions.
- Caregivers are usually so caught up with all the responsibilities, they do not indulge in any sorts of leisure activities.
- There needs to be more awareness about what kind of work can be done from home. As such work does not require much commitment.
- We need to understand the dynamics of the entire family better if we have to provide them with concrete solutions.
- Caregivers find it difficult to attend these educational sessions because they’ve to travel thrice a week for Dialysis as well.
The next session will also focus on financial wellbeing.
Financial well-being can be defined as when a person can fully meet current financial obligations, feel secure in their financial future and can make choices that allow living a fulfilled life. The legal aspect includes knowledge about one’s legal rights and about what belongs to oneself whether it is acquired through legal/ illegal ways and the risk of any future legal concerns.
If you are a dialysis patient caregiver, do attend and if you are a well-wisher of such a caregiver, then do let them know.
Register to join the next session by calling Mansi at 9821433312, 8850252190.
Date & Time- To Be Announced
Venue: L&T Nirali AM Naik Charitable Hospital, Powai.
Please note that there are no charges associated with the session