State government allocates funds for Geriatric care
“The state government has allocated Rs 5 crores for funding projects connected with senior citizens health”, said Dr PV Ramesh, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, while inaugurating a workshop for local physicians on dementia. The one day workshop on “Early detection and management of Dementia” was jointly organized by Gandhi Hospital, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India, Hyderabad Deccan Chapter (ARDSI) and the State Government. In fact, the initiative for this timely workshop came from none other than the principal secretary himself. The workshop is a sequel to the recently conducted memory walk and is a part of World Alzheimer’s Day activities.
The topic gets only a cursory mention in medical curricula. Therefore the workshop was aimed at sensitizing the doctors on Dementia, which primarily affects older people.
According Dr Suvarna Alladi of NIMS treats about 400 persons suffering from dementia out of some 40000 patients in AP; On a national level, there are close to
3.8 million dementia patients on the whole.
While Dr Narasimha Rao, Principal, Gandhi Hospital emphasized on looking into preventive measures and treatable or reversible dementia cases, Prof Kaul suggested that screening for dementia should start at the age of 50 instead of 65 as practiced now. He also said that doctors must include humor as a part of their routine therapy.
In an aside, Dr Sathyanarayana Raju, HOD Geriatrics, NIMS informed that a PG Diploma Course in Geriatrics is available from IGNOU for any physician – it is worthwhile even for senior citizens to pursue. The course starts in January,