Chandigarh : On the 2nd day of 25th Annual Conference Punjab and Chandigarh Branch of Indian Psychiatric Society PUNCIPS-2015 the issue of elderly abuse was discussed and various experts shared their experience with the delegates.
Dr. Parmod Kumar opined that elderly abuse is as common as child abuse. The problem with elder abuse comprised as emotional deprivation, physical abuse and financial insecurities. The elder feel highly insecure
Especially when they are living alone. Now a day’s even cases of elder physical abuse is on the rise. I have seen cases where the elder are being beaten up, locked up and not even allowed to meet anyone. The elder feel highly insecure even to seek legal help in such cases due to limited resources –physical and financial. The Chandigarh Admn. must ensure recreation facility for elderly peoples in every sector, where they can interact, enjoy and heal themselves.
Dr. Chavan informed as per the data available from the Census of 2011 that 8.6% persons are in age group of above 60 years of age as compared to 7.4% in the Census of 2001.
Total number of senior citizen: 8.6% 0f total population: 86,000 persons who are 60+; Number of senior citizens staying with spouse (without children) is very high as compared to rest of the cities; Health needs are high as 86 % have at least one medical problem and 68% have depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms.
It has been observed that Elderly staying alone had more loneliness (92.2%) as compared to those who lived with their spouse (58.9%). In 2014, 5909 patients visited the Deptt. of psychiatry at Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Chandigarh out of them only 526 (8.9%) were 60+. This shows very few elderly peoples are reaching hospital for their counseling and treatment.
In Chandigarh Special OPDs are available for elderly peoples at GMCH, PGIMER, GMSH. These are run by Healthcare either Deptt of medicine/community medicine.
26 beds earmarked for elderly in GMSH additionally, and Home Based Treatment Services and Geriatric Mental Health Clinic recently started by Deptt of Psychiatry, GMCH-32.
Residential Care facilities of 70 beds in both government and private set-up in Chandigarh also exist, equally distributed in proportion amongst elderly males and females.
Police provide a dedicated service in form of helpline (#1090) and specific beat/contact pattern. Additionally, the Deptt of Social Welfare through State and Central funded schemes runs various welfare/financial schemes.
Dr. Ranjive Mahajan, from Ludhiana explained on drug therapy for the elderly peoples. Elderly peoples are having different needs as compared to the younger. More than 84% of the peoples are taking medicine for more than one disease , different drugs interact with each other and affect the level of the others drugs so the doctors has to know about the effect of one drug with another drug and on the disease. More over these peoples requires 1/3rd to ½ of the dose as compared to the youth, so the dictum “Starts low, go slow”. Elderly peoples and their care giver should discuss about the OTC and supplements they are taking with their doctors.
Dr. Rajeev Trehan psychiatrist from Panchkula said over the past several years there has been a growing awareness that addictive disorders among the elderly are a common public health problem. Studies suggest that alcohol dependencies present in up to 6 % of the community dwelling elderly and evidence indicated that the prevalence of alcohol abuse or dependence elder adults is on the rise. The patients who are dependent on alcohol and substance abuse are having increased risk of accident, sleeping disorder, mood disorder, memory loss and physical illness. Such patients have social problem, family problems, financial problems and job related problem.
The conference concluded with vote of thank by Dr. Hardeep Singh Organizing secretary of the conference. He conveyed his sincere thanks to all the delegates and Guest Speaker for sparing their valuable time and making this scientific event a grand success. The next conference of PUNCIPS will be held at Amritsar next year.
In the General body meeting Dr. Hardeep Singh a leading psychiatrist from Chandigarh was elected as President of the Society.