Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Review: Probus Way to Healthy Ageing

Book Review: Probus Way to Healthy Ageing.

Reviewed by Dr P Vyasamoorthy


"Probus Way to Healthy Ageing" Published by Probus Club of Chennai. October 2008. Pages 300 Price Rs 100.00. (For copies contact: Editor ER S Ranganatha Rao  (044)24995290 or Sri K Venkatachary  (044) 24981099).

Probus Club of Chennai has once again (17th year in succession) come up with an annual publication of Almanac Category released on the last Elders Day in October 2008. The book may be discussed in three parts, though no such partitioning is shown as such. The First part gives details of the club, its constituents, activities, brief history, list of publications, Probus Song, Probus Prayer, contributors etc.  There are forty contributors from various walks of life. Chidambaram is mentioned as a contributor but there is no paper by him. Subsequently I discovered that he contributed substantially in updating the OAH data.  The book does not contain any single contact address of its office!

One will be pleasantly surprised to learn of wide variety of activities of the Club: Library, Home Medical Assistance, Adoption of a school, Annual publications, Medical & health camps, Medicines bank, Home visits by Doctors, Rating of Old Age Homes etc. Regular monthly meetings of course go without saying.

The second part gives a series of articles, stories and papers on healthy ageing in particular and some other topics of interest to Senior Citizens.  A few contributions are in Tamil. Very useful articles on health, diet, nutrition, exercises, cardiac problems, medical emergencies, dementia, sleep disorders, obesity, longevity, cancer are all there. Senior Law, music, elder abuse, travelogue also find a place. I was specially tickled by subtle humor in Gomathy Narayan's story:  "No, I don't Carry a gun".

Third part is a highly useful compendium of information such as: List of Old Age Homes in Chennai, representative listings from districts other than Chennai in Tamilnadu, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Kerala, Delhi , Hyderabad and other cities. Retirement Homes, Homes for Disabled Adults, Important phone numbers in Chennai viz: Ambulances, Hospitals, blood banks, eye banks, police stations, Death related service providers, help lines.  It is worthwhile noting that the data is verified and updated to render it useful – it is not just a mindless carry over from earlier publications. I found the list of doctors ready to do house calls very useful – among 50 or so doctors listed, ten are geriatricians. Though the header says Old Age Homes and Day Care Centers, I could not find a single DCC.  

Noting that 40 advertisements have been procured speaks volumes of the ability of the club members in raising funds and their popularity. This is further strengthened when you see that the club has accumulated over Rs six lakhs in Corpus fund for school children.

I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who likes to learn how a successful SCA should be run.


Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30, Gruhalakshmi Colony,
Secunderabad 500015. Ph: LL: 040-27846631 Cell: 9490804278 I blog at:

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