iKure’s purpose in celebrating world senior citizen day is to raise awareness and support the health conditions of older people.
21st August is regarded as World Senior Citizen Day. Anyone beyond 60 years of age is a Senior Citizen by convention.We cannot help but lamenting that we cannot boast of having done anything remarkable on the welfare of Senior Citizens of this country by the method of policy…and this matter does not fare high in the list of authoritative priorities.
Nevertheless, bodies and associations have come forwards since not too long, to think on this sensitive issue and create a better living for a senior citizen across this country.
Old age homes have started dotting everywhere but the terms and conditions for housing them must be subsidized to include more and more of such population….without too much of a burden for the self-financing groups. Old people remain isolated from the family buzz and children moving to greener pastures leave such hapless people vulnerable to the nuances of social insecurities and bodily morbidities. They become alienated from the families they once took pride in building up and become redundant in the household of younger folks. Their opinions do not matter anymore in the day to day lives of the gen X and the seamless peace of life gets replaced by daily miseries of psyche and dignity. They are made to be figured out as burdens to the society.
Senior Citizens are prone to suffer from several clusters of diseases as below:
Cardiovascular ailments…acquired over their lifetime which needs to be addressed seriously. Coronary Arterial disease/Valvular disorders/Heart Failure/Heart Attacks (AMI) dominate the,list of morbidities in this group.
1. Lifestyle diseases such as Hypertension/Diabetes/Dyslipidaemias/Obesity form the prominent members of this groupacquired as a result of erratic/unrestricted lifestyle and often with genetic predisposition. They need lifelong care from Physicians attending them periodically, for as long as they would survive.
2. Gastrointestinal conditions like..Colonic disorders/Chronic constipation/GERD/Anorectal diseases/ Genitourinary diseases…. form another group which need either one time attention, or, follow up with the respective Speciality Doctors.
3. Neurological conditions like Stroke causing bedridden morbidity with/without paralysis needing prolonged close care by family members/attendants…or….physiotherapy for extended sessions form a bulk of suffering in this age group..
4. Miscellaneous category…comprised by Psychiatric illnesses/ Abandoned cases /Victims of physical abuse/Discharged from Hospitals or infirmaries with no family contact/ Addicts to Drugs and Alcohol / Homeless ones… etc.
All the above ailments require financial help and social inputs to manage the vulnerable segment of population and the dreaded solitude that it entails…which in itself brings down the life span of such seniors….the octogenarians and nonagenerians in society.
There are many countries where such people form a major part of the living society…such as Japan…who can boast of well laid down policies and generous grants from the government, to take care of the issues related to old age survivors and their health matters.
In india we are still far from this achievement in a mentionable way but efforts have just begun! The discipline which deals with medical issues of this age is called “Geriatrics” and Doctors are getting specialized in this field to work with only senior citizens.
Our mindset needs to change to support and care for the people of such advanced age in their twilight years and not regard them as just ‘gone over the hill’. ..!
Children need to be more sensitive and empathic to the needs of their parents who brought them up and not forget that they are also going to reach this age one day in future.
We need to approach this social malady in a holistic and pragmatic way seeking cooperation from NGO-s and similar social workers and a teamwork of trained personnel to come forwards in solving this growing issue of ‘unattended in old age’ concept.
How iKure is working towards the welfare goals of senior citizens?
“iKure” is an exemplary organization striving towards the very challenging goal of making the lives of our citizens better through many of its innovative ways and means, often defeating the challenges of human resource mobilization and deployment………..meaningful utilization of available resources…and constantly looking for areas of intervention in healthcare…in domestic & international geography, to mention a few!
In its ambit of operations…iKure has allotted priority to some areas of suffering of fellow human beings,such as Lifestyle diseases ( NCD-s) which is a modern scourge to humanity.
Across the intervention areas of this organization, a sizeable portion of the target community served hails from this group….the Senior Citizens….for whom we pay a little added focus, because of the enumerous socio-economical nuances, that such people have to face in their day to day lives.
iKure organizes medical camps from time to time…..serving the regional population…many of whom are of advanced age..in the areas of NCD-s….with regards to an holistic approach…which includes not only management of such ailments but the relevant health education required to understand such diseases…up..close..and personal ..by gaining knowledge on the occurrence causes…preventive modalities…and complications which may come up…for those who unfortunately have fallen victim to such diseases.
iKure attaches a lot of importance on Eyecarewhich is predominantly skewed towards the elderly folks, in addressing the conditions arising in old age such as Cataract/Glaucoma/ARMD/Retinal deterioration etc. The organization applies modern technology to detect such conditions in a proactive manner, screens the population of such sinister eye diseases and guides them through the scientific protocol of management /referral of such cases, being affected by specific eye diseases. Had this not been in place, a lot of hapless and underprivileged people would have lost their eyesight by now!
The mechanism is on.. to increase the door-to-door surveillance of the segment of the senior population affected by Cardiovascular Disease by means of remote monitoring and coordination through wearable devices …..under experimentation for implementation policy. This will go a long way to detect major and minor cardiac ailments for a timely referral to the domain of specialists to address the particular issues.
Last but not the least…iKure is in the planning stage to enter into a rather new concept of “ Continuum of Care“…wherein….it can collaborate with secondary/tertiary Medical Centres,to take care of interim/transitory patient care for the welfare of patients in the home settings of such clientele, many of whom are senior citizens.
With iKure’s integrated efforts, we can only hope that the plight of senior citizens gets better with time in this country and around the world…in order that this day is celebrated with increasing fervor in society…in times to come.