Nation Other News 09 Nov 2016 Tamil Nadu knows how ...

Tamil Nadu knows how to handle geriatric care

Published Nov 9, 2016, 6:21 am IST
Updated Nov 9, 2016, 6:22 am IST
Representational image
 Representational image

Chennai: With the City playing host to one among the two National Centres on ageing, set up recently at Madras Medical College, geriatric care in the state has become a serious affair. Various hospitals around the city have taken the initiative to start centres with improved facilities so as to provide better treatment opportunities to the old.

The Geriatrics Department at Madras Medical College, which started in 1978, now has a 40-bed male and female ward, including eight Intensive Geriatric Care beds. “We have six speciality clinics for the six days of the week, during which time focus will be laid on each speciality,” said Dr. Siva Kumar, Head of the Department of Geriatric Medicine.

“We focus on geriatric assessment on Mondays, false bones balance on Tuesdays, continence on Wednesdays, chronic elderly pain on Thursdays, cognitive and memory problems on Fridays, and geriatric rehabilitation on Saturdays. All this is apart from the regular geriatric medicine Out Patient treatment,” he added.

The main aim of geriatric care is to prevent and treat diseases and disabilities in aged people. A department that was earlier not heard of, Geriatrics has become a sought-after medical field with a rise in life expectancies and increasing incomes. MMC that started MD in Geriatric Medicine in 1996 looks at the geriatric care with a multidisciplinary approach, providing interdisciplinary treatment.  

“The life span of an Indian is between 60 and 64 years, however, better treatment of old age-related diseases can extend the life expectancy to up to 70 years. The main problems that come under geriatric care include dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said Dr Kumar, a cardiologist.

The National Institute of Ageing, at the King’s Institute, which was to start as a 200-bed specialist geriatric facility linked to MMC, aims at research, training and producing specialists. The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) too now has an exclusive block dedicated to geriatric care alone. The block, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in 2014, works towards bringing down the burden of lifestyle diseases that is seen among the 8 per cent population of the elderly.



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