Book Review: Geriatric Housecall Project
Senior Citizens Bureau, Chennai has published this booklet (56 pages) on the occasion of First Anniversary since launching the Geriatric Housecall Project in Feb 2008. The project team has enlisted the co-operation of 55 doctors, 11 physiotherapists, 5 psychologists to make Housecall to senior citizen patients who are immobile. A directory of these persons, area wise is given. A spin off of this activity is the provision of medical diagnostic test (sample collection) facility (called geriatric clinical laboratory service) at the doorstep of the individual. The charges of diagnostic centers are highly affordable as good discounts are given. A list of such centers is also given. A small list of persons / organizations that provide home care service through Aayahs, nurses, bedside assistants etc is also given.
Guidelines for doctors, patients and caregivers for the proper functioning of the scheme are provided. Doctors are advised to take up patients only nearer to their residence / clinic. Caregivers are advised to keep records medicines etc properly. Patients are told that this service is only for emergencies and they should not keep calling the doctors for simple and routine matters. As a part of this service issuing death certificates is also made easy and simple.
In practice it is seen that emergency calls relate to falls, acute confusion, stroke etc. Non emergency visits included cases of OA knees, Parkinson's disease, dementia, and debility. One year's experience also threw up many problems that are being sorted out. Detailed feedback on the project from 8 doctors, 5 physiotherapists, 2 psychologists and 4 beneficiaries are given.
The booklet also gives details of many scientific / academic programs aimed at continuing education of doctors, especially on topics like "Geriatric Emergencies at home", "geriatric sexuality", "cognitive impairment in the elderly", "Urinary incontinence in the elderly" – all relating to geriatrics – conducted under the aegis of SCB. Better informed doctor is a better service provider. In the case of geriatrics where is no facility for even formal courses, conducting such courses is very laudable.
This publication is immensely useful to all senior citizens in Chennai. It will also be useful to any SCA that wishes to start similar service in their city / town, as the booklet has enough info or guidelines to start a similar scheme. A pioneer has shown the way. Let us follow their experiences.
The booklet may be had by contacting Capt Dr Eng M Singaraja - Chennai Ph 28231388 / 9444127704 and sending Rs 50/-