Chennai: Chennai appears to be catching up with the western nations in having an increasing populace of home alone elders but is waking up to the dangers of the senior citizens being alone — at least on health grounds.
The separation from the nearest kin who work out of the city or abroad is further compounding their problems. For instance, Muralikrishnan (name changed), aged 70, a Parkinson patient, was found in a semi-conscious state in his house and when a medical team reached his residence, it found that he had suffered a stroke. That was a few months ago.
Timely medical intervention had, in his case, put him on the road of recovery and though he is still undergoing physiotherapy and under medication, he is able to walk.
Sometimes, the relatives would be at a loss as to how to cope up with the situation if the health of their elders collapses all of a sudden or are confounded on managing chronically ill patients. “All these factors have triggered an increasing need for home care medical service for the elders,” says J. Krishna Kavya co-founder of healthabove60, which provides homecare service only to the geriatric segment. “That is where the need is. Our senior citizens need more attention,” she told this correspondent. Interestingly, there are certain senior citizens who seek the assistance of male nurses to take care of them.
A majority of the elders seek homecare for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, some with ortho and arthritis related problems. “There are women patients too who seek medical assistance and the concept of home care for the elderly is picking up. Last year (since July 2014 when the Geriatric Homecare service was launched) alone, we had handled over 500 cases including services for post operative care, injecting IV fluids and providing nurses on shift,” adds Ms Kavya of the startup firm, that had networked specialists and trained nurses to handle emergencies round the clock.
In the case of Murugan (name changed) aged 65, a botched up hip replacement surgery led to septum. A small rod, which was not implanted properly, had shifted causing an infection. His wretched condition came to light when the medical team from healthabove60 visited. He was advised correctional surgery and follow up treatment. “It is rather difficult to treat a person with a progressive Parkinson’s disease. Continuous monitoring, diet change and physiotherapy had made Muralikrishnan recover fast,” claims Dr V. Janakan, head of medical services.
“Though they don’t tell us, we could sense a feeling of insecurity among the elderly patients who are psychologically affected as they have to live separated from their closest kin,” he adds....
Location: Tamil Nadu