The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will adopt 50 old age divyangs from the economically weaker section of the society and will provide them free medical and healthcare facilities at their doorstep. AIIMS, in association with an NGO, will pick these senior citizens from different old age homes and societies after accessing their health care requirements. “As part of the programme, the Geriatric Department of the AIIMS and the NGO 'Healthy Aging India' would provide free medicines at their doorstep and also facilitate treatment and transport to the medical institute in a case of a medical emergency." said Dr Prashun Chatterjee of the AIIMS told news agency PTI.
The decision of adoption drive was taken after a study conducted by the Geriatric Department of the AIIMS in multiple old-age homes in Delhi and NCR (especially run by NGOs) highlighted that more than 80 per cent of the senior citizen living in these homes do not have access to a basic health care facility. Around 1,200 inmates living in 20 old age homes and around 4,000 from the society were interviewed during the study.
According to the survey, most of the residents suffered from multiple health problems like diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease among others which need long-term medicines and regular monitoring to prevent further complication and long-term disability. In the survey, it was noticed that some age-related diseases like fall, frailty, dementia and depression were highly prevalent among such people and called for medical intervention along with lifestyle and environment modification, Dr Chatterjee said.
"The purpose of adopting elderly persons is not only to provide them medicine or health care but also to sensitise them for better lifestyle and diet management and exercise regime on a regular basis. These interventions are expected to improve the quality of life of very elderly persons living in an old age home as well as those living in society," Dr Chatterjee said.
The study, he said, also found that on an average an elderly person spends around Rs 500-1000 on medicines. Dr Chatterjee also urged people to adopt localised needy elderly persons.
The Department of Geriatric medicine, AIIMS in association with the Healthy Aging India had recently organised a participatory interactive session on "active ageing and stress management in late life" for senior citizens at Satyagrahy Auditorium at Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti to sensitise people about the various old-age ailments and problems.
( With PTI inputs)