AGE CARE IN ARTHRITIS
There are various aspects of health and medicine that need special attention as we age. The common problems we face or rather I would say, we should address, relating to aging are:
1. Psychosocial health:
Though no one can replace the need of a family member, we can at least help them by giving effective psychological counseling and treatment (if needed). Various sessions of counseling, either in isolation, pair or group can help them get out of the situation.
2. Neurological conditions:
Brain and neural tissues tend to give significant symptoms on degeneration. Dementia, Parkinsonism, neuropathy are examples of problems that can affect the elderly. These might go unnoticed aggravating the underlying condition and secondary depression. Expert hands, in terms of neurophysician and trained nurses can be of help in early detection and prompt management of such conditions before it reaches an irreversible state.
3. Bone health:
Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two major conditions affecting the aging population. Though of minor symptoms at the onset, these might lead to a crippling and bed ridden condition if complications occur.
Osteoporosis is softening of bone structure and it can occur both in females (after cessation of menstruation) and in males (after 70 years of age). Other than aging, various hormonal factors, smoking, alcohol etc increase the risk of osteoporosis in these people. If detected early in the course, it can be managed effectively. However, complications such as easy fracture of wrist, hip or even spine can occur if not treated. These complications can lead to a bed ridden state which further increases the chances of infection, bed sore, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis etc leading to untimely death.
Osteoarthritis is degeneration (wear and tear) of the joint cartilage. The initial symptoms might be knee or hip pain on climbing down the stairs. Problem might however increase to inability to walk or sit down, sometimes to the extent of needing a joint replacement. However, if diagnosed at the earliest symptoms, these joints can be saved or salvaged for years with proper functionality.
A competent rheumatology team can identify and help in managing elderly people with such problems.
4. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes:
CVD, blood pressure and diabetes tend to occur more in the elderly age group. Though most people now are aware of these health issues related to heart and diabetes, they often find it difficult to coordinate the various treatments and health issues under a same umbrella.
A competent physician can help to evaluate and orchestrate the comprehensive management of all interrelated health issues of this population. He or she can also channelize the need for expert care when required.
NCRD, with its vision on the needs of health care to the aging and elderly population, has created a core team of physician, rheumatologist, neurologist, psychiatrist and trained nurses to address all the related issues. The main aim of ‘age care in arthritis’ is to diagnose and manage problems related to bones, joints, nerves and psychological health of the elderly. The center takes its pride in providing state of the art laboratory services and pharmacy counseling service to these people.
With increasing number of elderly parents living on their own in Nepal, we have designed a health care delivery system that can operate online. A health care need, be it pre-identified or yet to be identified, can be requested by completing an online requisition form available in our website. Payment can be made directly to the bank. A detailed report and treatment plan will be sent both to the patient as well as the care-taker abroad. A teleconference with the concerned medical team can be provided on demand of the family members abroad if they want to know about their parents directly from the treating doctor.
Services will be of two types:
- Point of care service: For those people, who cannot be mobilized to the center. This will include home visit of doctor, nurse, home delivery of medicines and lab tests (as advised by doctors).
- Central service: People who can mobilize can visit the center. We can also provide pick-up and drop facility at home in the package.