Kolkata: The Bengal government is contemplating to set up the state's first geriatric hospital in Salt Lake to provide comprehensive care exclusively for the elderly people and also to understand their medical background and offer them customised care.
There is a demand of such a hospital in the state, as the number of elderly people living alone is on the rise. The state Health department will be the nodal agency to carry out the project.
The proposal to set up a geriatric hospital in the city, however, is in the initial stage. A study will be carried out to examine the viability of set-
ting up such a hospital in Salt Lake.
According to a senior official of the Health department, there is a plan to set up the geriatric hospital in the city, where the elderly people from across the state can get special care.
The patients would be able to avail personal attention, however, it would be too early to divulge the detailed plans in this regard.
A specialised geriatric care centre would be set up at the proposed hospital, where proﬁcient geriatricians and allied medical professionals will provide comprehensive geriatric assessment to address all-round needs of a patient and recommend the best treatment for them.
There are not enough doctors who are willing to visit these elderly patients at home. It has been found that many elderly people have been living in residential apartments alone in the city. They often become too feeble to visit a doctor's chamber in the locality.
Many of them are found to have been deserted by their sons or daughters who have settled outside the state or abroad, with no one to look after their parents.
According to sources, the main focus areas of the proposed hospital would be preventing and managing
fractures, dizziness, memory loss, depression, psycholo-gical revitalisation, vacci-
nations, fatigue, unsteadiness or weakness, physiotherapy, diet counselling and medicine management.
As a part of geriatric health care, the patients would be informed about the preventive health care services such as regular physical exercise, balanced diet, vegetarianism, stress management, avoidance of smoking or tobacco products and prevention of falls.
The country has been facing a specific demographic challenge, as the population over the age of 65 is expected to soar up to 20 percent by 2050. This requires both the state government and Centre to have a holistic approach towards the health needs of the elderly people, feel a senior state government official.
It may be mentioned here that after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has taken up a series of new
initiatives to help elderly citizens.
A comprehensive geriatric care unit, an exclusive centre for the elderly, has come up at the district hospitals to address the problems faced by elderly people.
The elderly people often suffer from more than one medical problem. They need a special environment and attention that can help them improve their functional ability, physical health, cognition and mental health.