VIJAYAWADA: It has been observed that loneliness is one of the causes of depression and psychiatric disorders among the elderly persons, said psychiatrist Indla Rama Subba Reddy.
Speaking as chief guest at the day-long national seminar on ‘The Science Behind Ageing: Can Science Modulate the Process?’ at KBN Degree College here on Monday, Rama Subba Reddy said that in our culture, ageing parents traditionally live with their children. “But, nowadays majority of the elderly people are finding themselves flocking to old-age homes, retirement communities or assisted living facilities,” he said.
Reddy said that senior citizens, who live alone, often experience social isolation and poor nutrition which contributes to cognitive decline, health problems, depression and poor quality of life. He stressed the need for old age institutions for women, funding and other issues pertaining to poor and old people care in the State.
“In a recent survey conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Services (TISS), as many as eight lakh geriatric professionals are required in the country. There is a vast difference between general nursing and geriatric care. A person trained to deal with elders will be mindful and sensitive to their needs,” he said.
The psychiatrist said that one harbours a common stereotype that elders are generally problematic, fussy, forgetful and rigid. “Training dispels these notions,” he said, and added that the screening process for candidates for the course involves questioning them about stereotypes. “We ask them do adults become like children in old age. Those who say yes earn negative grading,” Rama Subba Reddy said.
Geriatric Care course
Kakaraparti Bhava Narayana (KBN) Degree College, will introduce a ‘Certificate Course in Geriatric Care’ from this academic year, college principal V Narayana Rao said. Narayana Rao said that the Geriatric Care course specifically focuses on healthcare of elderly persons and aims to create trained people and a system to take care of senior citizens.
The course duration is six months which includes classroom training and practical training programmes. UGC will certify the candidates. Eligibility for the admission is Class X and the age between 18 to 45 years.