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20 Jun | 2018

We present the experience of therapeutic groups in 4 Spanish provinces

Sandra Poudevida and Maximina Rodríguez, therapists of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation in Barcelona and Galicia respectively, have presented the program of therapeutic groups for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease in the 60th National Congress of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, held June 13th to 15th in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In the congress they have shared the results of the groups carried out in 2017 thanks to the subsidy granted by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality charged to the tax assignment of Personal Income Tax (IRPF).

The groups were held in Madrid, Vigo, Seville and Barcelona, after training 4 therapists in the methodology of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation program. The objective of the therapeutic groups is to improve the emotional well-being of the caregivers, to break their social isolation, to offer them tools to better face the care and to create a space for the management of their emotions. This therapy was validated between 2011 and 2015 through two clinical trials, and showed that it helps to improve the perception that caregivers have about their quality of life, resilience capacity, social support and mood.

The groups consist of a cognitive behavioral group therapy divided into 14 sessions of 90 minutes each, which is carried out weekly for 3 and a half months. Each session deals with an issue related to the repercussions of Alzheimer's disease, such as communication, grief, empathy, acceptance, or resilience. After the 14 sessions, a monthly monitoring session is carried out for half a year to reinforce the results obtained.

The IRPF grant has allowed two groups to be made in each of the 4 cities mentioned. In addition, during the therapeutic groups, the caregivers were able to leave their relatives with Alzheimer's disease in a parallel group, assisted by a health care technician, and perform leisure trips with them. As reflected in the surveys provided, both caregivers and therapists made a highly positive assessment of the therapy. You can see the results of the surveys in this poster presented at the congress.

Therapeutic leisure 

Given the few opportunities for cultural and social participation to which caregivers can go together with their relatives affected by Alzheimer's disease, the Pasqual Maragall Foundation promoted the realization of 4 leisure trips linked to the therapeutic groups held in Madrid, Vigo, Seville and Barcelona, thanks to the IRPF grant.

The activities included visits to exhibitions of artistic and ethnographic interest in museums and outdoor areas of architectural and heritage interest; attendance at musical, theater and ballet shows; the realization of walks and activities in thermal circuits; and the organization of meals and snacks.
The experience of the caregivers in these activities was very rewarding, as shown in this second poster presented a few days ago at the congress.