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“TIncontro…via web”

The research project aims to create an innovative intervention practice for groups of Alzheimer's patients.

“TIncontro…via web”

The way of life, daily habits and gestures of people have been radically changed by the pandemic of covid-19; in particular the lives of the elderly and, even more specifically, of people suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias has become increasingly problematic. The need for partial confinement, imposed by the authorities to protect the most sensitive sections of the population, has in fact upset and partially compromised the lives of individuals suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

Among the major difficulties that emerged during this period was the provision of more timely care related to group activities or interaction. The decrease or total suspension of exercise and the interruption of regular social contacts have deeply marked the most fragile subjects, such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Among the problems that have had a significant impact on patients are undoubtedly the lack of stimuli from the outside world and an ever wider isolation, which have led in many cases to an acceleration of cognitive decline and dementia.
This difficult starting point has led to the development of strategies to prevent the complete interruption of meetings and help groups for patients with dementia, and encouraged the search for new ways to reach individuals and their family members and to provide care from a distance.

A pilot group was therefore set up - born from the experience of the support group TIncontro aimed at patients suffering from Alzheimer’s in the initial and initial-medium phase - which developed T... via web, a project that brings together moments of encounter with cargivers and online work, through the administration of short videos based on activities of emotional and bodily stimulation to be performed remotely. The caregiver is invited to perform at home with his joint exercises of gentle movement and empathic communication described and shown during the video recordings, enriched with music and relaxing images.   Each video accompanies caregivers and patients to the progressive discovery of movements and gestures that capture from the theater a look that explores the behaviors and emotions of people.
This alternative communication strategy with families allows therefore to carry out the meetings of the group TIncontro, in compliance with the protocols against the coronavirus. The main objectives of the activities are to maintain a dialogue between the specialist, the patient and the family, without interrupting their regularity, and to prevent the regress of the patient to more serious stages of the disease.

The project is based on the importance of non-pharmacological therapies that, integrated with the usual therapies, exploit in this case theatrical practices as a stimulus to keep alive, albeit remotely, the sensory experience of the patient and his emotionality, and help interaction with places, people and situations by promoting relaxing strategies or solutions to address the challenges of everyday life of the patient with dementia and the person who deals with it. The project is useful and necessary in the pandemic phase, but it can be a model for future support activities to be supported by the normal groups in the presence. The patient in fact chooses together with his caregiver the most appropriate time to get ready for the proposed exercises, can repeat them according to their own rhythms and needs, each time capturing different aspects and stimuli and thus enriching the path of non-drug therapy even from home.

The Dimitri Academy and the Senior Competence Center, DEASS-SUPSI, promote the pilot project TIncontro... via web, designed and conducted for the Association GINCO by Dante Carbini and Rita Pezzati. The realization also collaborates with the Alzheimer Ticino Association, promoter of the group TIncontro (active for 4 years) aimed at offering a space for listening and sharing self-awareness.

The project is carried out with the support of the Alfred Loppacher and Helene Mettler Foundation.

Project management: Rita Pezzati, Senior Competence Centre, DEASS-SUPSI, and Demis Quadri, Accademia Dimitri

Researcher: Krizia Bonaudo, Accademia Dimitri

Theatrical trainer: Dante Carbini

In collaboration with:
Dr. Med Brenno Galli
Katia Tunesi, TIncontro

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