HC recommends old age homes in all dts
Madurai: The state government has been recommended to set up an old age home in every district and a dedicated 24-hour helpline for senior citizens.
Appointed by the Madurai bench of Madras high court to find out the ways and means to effectively implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, the advocate commissioners - N.S.Ponnaiah, G.Prabhu Rajadurai and T.Lajapathy Roy - in their report suggested that a old age home be established in every district as provided in the Act to accommodate indigent senior citizens.
Pointing out that there are about 36 registered old age homes - 18 run by charitable organisations and 18 paid homes in Madurai district - they said there are over 25 unregistered homes as well. Paid homes charge between Rs 3,000 and Rs 10,000 per person while charitable homes have difficulties in accommodating rescued senior citizens.
To treat geriatric patients, at least two geriatric specialists should be appointed at Government Rajaji Hospital. A mobile geriatric unit run by district administration should function to find out and rescue abandoned old people who could be provided with identity cards. A toll-free helpline number should be made available and publicised at all places of public gathering.
The team also recommended introduction of postgraduation course on geriatrics in all government medical college hospitals and a syllabus on the subject in MBBS. Students in both high schools and colleges could be roped in by the department of education to create awareness on the salient features of the Act among the public.