25th Annual Conference Punjab and Chandigarh Branch of Indian Psychiatric Society (PUNCIPS) on the topic of “Ageing Punjab” started today at Hotel Park Plaza in Chandigarh to celebrate 25 years of the Society’s.
More than 150 delegates from different part of India attended the conference. Prof. Yogesh Chawla , Director PGIMER, Chandigarh has inaugurated the conference. Dr. Harish Arora, President, PUNCIPS while delivering the presidential address welcomed the delegates for making this event a mega success. Dr. Parmod Kumar, Organizing Chairperson of the conference has informed that population of people above 60yrs in age will increased to 12% by 2030.The number of elderly population aged 60 and above is expected to increase from 77 million in 2001 to 179 million in 2031and further to 301 million in 2051 in India. Prof. Yogesh Chawla appreciated the efforts of society for organizing the conference on the issue of Ageing in Punjab.
Dr. S.C Tewari, King George Medical University, Lucknow highlighted the Sleep Disorders in elderly and said this is one of the commonest complaint like headache, body ache, weakness constipation. 45% of elderly suffer from sleeping disorder women are more affected than man. The common sleep problems in elderly are sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. He suggested that the family members should consult the Psychiatrist in case elderly in their family are complaining such symptoms so that they can be treated and the quality of elderly people.
Sleep hygiene approach should be followed for the treatment of insomnia such as elderly people should avoid day time sleep if they difficulty in sleeping at night, avoid having Tea, coffee and soft drinks late in the evening. Alcohol and Smoking should also be avoided. Time should be fixed for sleeping and awakening.
Dr. Rajeev Trehan an expert on Alzheimer’s from Haryana informed the delegates that Dementia syndrome happens in the elderly people of 65 yrs age due to disease of the brain usually of a chronic or progressive in nature, in which patient has disturbance in memory loss, thinking, comprehension ,calculation, learning capacities, language and judgment. Patient has appreciable decline in intellectual functioning, difficulty in performing daily routine activities such as washing, eating dressing, personal hygiene, excretory and toilet activities. The average course of disease is 06 to 10 years from onset. Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease are largely unknown, in done cases genetic factors are responsible. It is 4th leading cause of death in elderly population. In severe Alzheimer’s disease dementia the patient is usually unaware of time place and person.
Dr. Rajesh Nagpal, New Delhi informed that 2studies were done in Punjab at Faridkot and Ludhiana reveals that 10% of the elderly suffers severe depression, 50% suffers from mild depression. Meager available data is insufficient to make any policy decision. The National Health Policy is rights based. The National Mental Health Program has no funds allotted for the cause of depression in elderly. The Punjabi coloring of depression is a story of loneliness, old parents fending for themselves in small land holdings, drug abuse and alcohol use. Herculean effort is required to map the problem, allocate resources, set targets and regulate. Public private partnership, focus on the elderly, strict parameters for outcome and documentation is the need of the hour.
Dr. Rajeev Gupta from Punjab has shared his experience in Challenges posed by elderly patients in clinical practice. Punjab has one of the fast ageing population in the country. in thousands of households children have to western countries or work in metro cities outside the state and elderly are left to fend for themselves. Today 10 to 15 percent patients attending OPD are in the geriatric age group and suffer from many physical illnesses and are on multiple medicines which add to the cost and side effects of the drugs .Many families do not come forward to seek treatment of their elderly members. State infrastructure in medicine is quite inadequate so patients have to go to private centers for treatment. Most of the cities and towns do not have state run local transport system which makes it difficult and expensive for families to access treatment of the elderly patients.
Severe depression and suicidal attempts are quite common in the elderly patient’s .Alcohol and drug dependence to opium and dode is also fast emerging issue among the elderly patients.
Dr.Sandeep Grover from PGIMER, Chandigarh spoke about delirium in elderly, which is one of the most common mental disorders in hospitalized medically and surgically ill patients. Delirium manifests in the form of fearfulness, seeing things or hearing sound which other cannot see or hear, disturbance in sleep in the form of lack of nighttime sleep, diurnal fluctuation of symptoms. Unrecognized delirium is associated with prolonged hospital stay, increased risk of dementia and increased rates of mortality. In view of this it is important to recognize this clinical entity and treat it adequately.
Following topics will be discussed tomorrow:
- Existing Mental Health services for elderly in Chandigarh and Punjab by Dr. B.S.Chavan
- Bipolar in elderly by Dr, Subodh Chakravarti
- National policy for elderly by Dr. A.K.Kala
- Abuse or care of elderly by Dr.Subhash Das