Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Kolkata to get a crèche for senior citizens

Kolkata’s senior citizens may soon get a daycare centre, something like a crèche, when their children are away at work or out of town.

The government has various concessions for senior citizens. generally receiving about 10 per cent discount on their health expenses in most hospitals around the city. But, BP Poddar hospital in the city is looking to make aging not only a positive but a comfortable experience in what it calls Care for the Elderly.

Dr ND Manna, medical superintendent at BP Poddar Hospital, said the hospital will start a daycare centre for oldies by middle of next year. “Very often, the younger generation needs to go out of the city leaving the parents or in-laws in the hands of the maid, which can be risky at times. We aim to fill in this gap in care-giving facilities,” he said.

It has just unveiled an integrated geriatric facility that will be manned by a dedicated team of geriatricians, who will take care of all age-related ailments, irrespective of the discipline.

The hospital has just set up a geriatric ward as well as speciality and super-speciality clinics at nominal charges. The nurses, who are the most important link in this wellness chain, will help the oldies with not just their medicines but lifestyle - how to use the toilet, climb stairs - anything that becomes an ordeal in old age.

That apart, “social animators” with specialised training will help with the psychological aspects since loneliness and depression play a vital role in old age ailments.

At the time of Independence, life expectancy in India was 50-plus years. Today, it has increased to 70+ years. “So, obviously, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of senior citizens over the last 50 years,” Dr Manna told DNA.

According to estimates, by 2025, there will be 1.2 billion people above the age of 60 in the developing world. In West Bengal there are about 5.7 million older people while in Kolkata’s 15 million population, about nine per cent are seniors.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1137020

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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