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PHCs to offer home care for elderly

(Staff Reporter) / 9 January 2012

All primary health centres in Dubai will shortly start offering home-care services to the elderly in the emirate, the Dubai Health Authority announced on Monday

DUBAI -  All primary health centres in Dubai will shortly start offering home-care services to the elderly in the emirate, the Dubai Health Authority announced on Monday.

Dr Ahmed Kalban, CEO of Primary Healthcare Sector at the DHA, launched the project at the Nad Al Hamar Health Centre, one of the 14 primary health centres run by the authority.

He said the programme was in line with the directives of Director-General of the DHA Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid to provide high-quality healthcare services to the elderly keeping in mind the ease and convenience for the geriatric population of Dubai.

The DHA had launched the homecare visit initiative as a pilot project in November 2011 in Al Safa and Al Khawaneej health centres for the elderly population living in those areas. “We were pleased with the outcome of the project and realised there is a substantial demand for this service. Over the course of the next three months, we will extend this service across all our primary healthcare centres located in the emirate,” Dr Kalban said in a statement.

The home-care team will provide curative, preventive and rehabilitative nursing for the elderly in their homes. “This will greatly reduce the need for the elderly population to visit hospitals, thus ensuring that their convenience is taken into consideration.”

Dr Nahed Monsef, Director of the Health Affairs Department, said, “There is a need to plan for the future and since the percentage of elderly population in the emirate will increase over the coming years, we are putting our plans in place to ensure we provide them with the best possible services.”

Dr Monsef said a team of 10 doctors from across various PHCs and 13 nurses have been trained from May to December 2011 to ensure they provide excellent levels of geriatric care. “Once we receive a request for a home visit for an elderly patient, we send a comprehensive team to the patient, assesses the patient’s condition and chalks out a care programme. The team includes a geriatrician, physiotherapist, psychiatrist, doctor and nurse,” she said.

Dr Amal Al Jaziri, Head of Elderly Care Unit in the DHA Primary Health Care Sector and Manager of the home-care project, said that the team provides a complete health check and assesses the need for rehabilitation for such patients. All DHA primary healthcare centres will advise elderly patients and their families about this service so that they can opt for it if required.

The DHA is currently offering the service to Emiratis and has plans to extend to elderly expatriates at later stages.

Dr Salwa Al Suwaidi, a geriatrician at the DHA and project manager of the Dubai Rehabilitation Centre, had recently said that the average life expectancy of the population in the UAE was just 53 years some 40 years ago, but has risen to 74.8 years for men and 77.6 years for women in Dubai now.


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