The recipient of the fourth KLN Award is Dr. Radha S. Murthy of Bangalore.
Dr. Radha Murthy is the founder and managing trustee of Nightingales Medical Trust and president of the Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India, Bangalore chapter. She holds an MBBS degree from St. John's Medical College, Bangalore.
Inspired by her personal experiences, Dr. Radha Murthy founded Nightingales Home Health Services in 1996, to provide round-the-clock emergency as well as routine home health care visits by doctors and nurses to the home-bound in Bangalore. Dr. Radha Murthy received a citation of honor in 2006 from the International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging in the United States. The Government of India recognized her work in aging and elder care and awarded her the Vayoshreshtha Samman in 2009. Actively engaged with her community, she is the recipient of multiple awards from the Rotary Foundation, India, including the Paul Harris fellowship in 2005.
In her work, Dr. Radha Murthy shows a special engagement with dementia - a range of conditions affecting the elderly, including Alzheimer's related memory loss and other declines in cognitive ability, which adversely affect their daily functioning. She has been invited to deliver talks on dementia care and related subjects in India, the UK, Australia and Spain. From a research clinic for diagnosing, managing and preventing dementia, to residential facilities for dementia patients, Dr Radha Murthy's activities grow organically, one out of the other. In 2010 she set up the Nightingales Centre for Aging and Alzheimer's, a 75-bed residential facility for patients with dementia. Out of this grew, in 2014, the smaller ETCM-Nightingales Dementia Care Centre which, leveraged the experience from the Centre for Aging and Alzheimer's, using tele-medicine to provide services in satellite locations, on a smaller scale which would otherwise not be possible.
In what is a first in India, and likely globally including the United States, Dr. Radha Murthy and Nightingales Medical Trust teamed up with the Bangalore Police Department to set up an Elder's Helpline in 2002. Worldwide, the infrastructure of elder care and regulation is geared primarily to address elder abuse in institutional settings, such as retirement homes, care facilities, hospices, etc. Most governments around the world now recognize that nearly 90% of elder abuse occurs in family settings. However, little infrastructure exists to address abuse where the abuser is a family member and victims are hesitant to reveal their abuse or their abuser. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "Elder abuse often occurs in quiet, private settings, making public response more important." Bangalore's Elders Helpline focuses, by design, on this hidden epidemic.
Dr. Radha Murthy's involvement with seniors' concerns spans a wide range from dementia management and services for victims of elder abuse, to simple fall-prevention exercises and elder empowerment. For her foresight and pioneering role as a catalyst in issues affecting the elderly, engaging and collaborating with the local community and the local government to make a difference in seniors' lives, we are pleased to award Dr.Radha S. Murthy the fourth KLN Award.
Manohar Kanuri, Trustee