Page 25 - Seniors Today -Volume no1
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                                                             Geriatric care for prevention and treatment is ab-
                                                             solutely essential for the elderly. This is easier for
                                                             those who can afford to pay for private healthcare.
                                                             However, government hospitals have to be bet-
                                                             ter equipped to provide geriatric care for poorer
                                                             patients in both urban and rural areas. Interven-
                                                             tions that reduce the risk of falls in the elderly are
                                                             among the most important contributions to long
                                                             term better health in the elderly. These interven-
                                                             tions can range from something as simple as fur-
                                                             niture rearrangement in the home and provision
        Practical problems faced by Seniors                  of a walking stick or walker to complex changes

        As one gets older one moves from one stage of        in medications. Also, installation of grab bars or
        life to another. Things that seemed easy to ac-      handrails on stairs and in public places, as well as
        complish earlier now seem difficult. Practical-      physiotherapeutic mobility improving exercises
        ly speaking, seniors face issues with mobility,      are important useful measures.
        lack of open spaces, security, and neglect. In       Retirement often means reduced funds and this
        most cities in India, it is almost impossible for    can have a negative impact on healthcare and
        a senior citizen to walk on the road. If there is    nourishment. A positive and well-planned ap-
        a pavement – which is often not the case – it is     proach in such cases can go a long way in helping
        uneven and dug up for repairs. Moreover, the         to maintain a healthy life.
        traffic rushes past at uncaring speed, not even      Man is a social creature and needs company.
        stopping for seniors. Even if they were able
        to manoeuvre their way through the traffic           Living alone or lacking mobility could in turn
        they would have nowhere quiet to go. There is        lead to isolation, loneliness, and depression. It
        an appalling lack of parks, gardens and open         is therefore important for family and friends to
        spaces in our cities where older people could        make the effort and provide social contact for the
        safely spend some time. The Nana-Nani park           aged. Seniors should be encouraged to participate
        initiative for seniors is a good one but there is    in yoga, meditation, music, games, interest groups
        a need for many more.                                – anything that they can take part in to remain
                                                             socially active. In this context, ease of movement
        Another area of concern with regard to se-           is necessary for seniors to be able to go out and
        nior citizens is security. There have been any       engage with the world. Wheelchair ramps and
        number of cases reported in the press about          grab bars in concert halls and at other public
        burglary and even murder of seniors in their         spaces will encourage them to be more social. Re-
        homes. Sometimes these are committed by              serving parking spaces as well as seats in public
        the very people who are employed to protect          transport, and designated queues make life more
        them. Seniors living alone are the most vul-         comfortable for seniors.
        nerable. It is important for local police stations
        to take proactive measures to monitor their          Older people naturally react well to children.
        homes and provide adequate security. There           Children raise the positive energy level in the
        also needs to be a mechanism in place for se-        home and need to be encouraged to spend time
        niors to request police help and to be assured       with the aged.
        of an immediate and prompt response to their         Unfortunately, these days one hears of more and
        appeal. This also applies to medical help vis        more cases of harassment and abuse of the elder-
        a vis a hospital whereby an ambulance can            ly. Family members and others wanting to usurp
        be sent immediately and the hospital and a           their property resort to all sorts of tactics to in-
        family member is immediately alerted to the          timidate the aged. Although there is legislation

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