UAE: Doctors offer youngsters tips to care for the elderly on Senior Citizens' Day

People need more love, care, support and attention during their old age than before



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 20 Aug 2022, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Aug 2022, 10:55 PM

Old age, often referred to as the second childhood, is a delicate phase of life. It's a time when the elderly need more love, care, support and attention than before. For children, it's a time of role reversal, where they have to become parental.

Celebrating Senior Citizens' Day, which falls on August 21, doctors offer some tips for healthcare and well-being of the elderly.

Dr Anwar Al Zaabi, consultant cardiologist, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, noted that elderly people, especially those who are ailing, tend to avoid travelling or going outdoors and prefer to stay home. But children must ensure their medication is provided as prescribed.

"Before you travel, get a weekly medication box. Fill the medication box with the prescribed medication for one week. Do this in the presence of the home caregiver to make sure he/she is familiar with the exact medication timetable for your parents."

Dr Al Zaabi suggested setting up an alarm on the caregiver's mobile phone as a reminder to give medicines on time.

"It's our responsibility towards our parents to set up the alarm and not caregivers to ensure he/she remembers the medication time."

Dr Al Zaabi underlined that the immediate contact numbers of doctors and hospitals must be known to everyone in the immediate family, including the caregiver.

"In case of an emergency and you are away, your caregiver or anyone taking care of them can call the doctor, the hospital, even while you are abroad," Dr Al Zaabi said while talking about the importance of being prepared for any medical emergency.

Dr Syed Rabbani, specialist, internal medicine, NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah, said that people worldwide are living longer as diseases, both communicable and non-communicable, are managed in a better way than before. However, the physiological effects of ageing itself are compounded by comorbidity, polypharmacy (use of multiple medications) and unhealthy lifestyles.

"Frailty is an emerging syndrome in the elderly. It is defined as a state of extreme vulnerability with a progressive physiological decline in multiple organ systems. This leads to a marked loss of function, loss of physiological reserves and an increased vulnerability to disease and death."

Talking about different ways to ensure the well-being and keeping elders in good health, Dr Rabbani pointed out five sets of advice.

Connect with people: Help older people to find ways to be in contact with other people to avoid social isolation and loneliness.

Be active: Encourage physical activity that is enjoyable. Incorporate exercise into their daily routine as much as possible.

Take notice: Facilitate older persons' interest in current affairs and local news. Meditation and /or relaxation techniques to manage anxiety and to avoid fears and worries of past and future.

Keep learning: Encourage the older person to try something new.

Art of giving: Doing things for others is rewarding and makes them valuable contributors in their community.

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Dr Rabbani added that youngsters must treat elders with dignity and respect.

"Children and youngsters must be humble and speak with the elderly in a dignified way. Try to be around them as much as you can. Participate in their daily routines and give in to their needs. Schedule some precious time with them and make it memorable like eating with them, visiting them often, and travel with them. Try to remove hurdles in their movement areas and ensure ample light to avoid falls."


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