Soon, there will be help at hand for senior citizens suffering from psychiatric ailments.
On May 24, the Thane mental hospital will start a Geriatric Community Care Centre, a day-care centre that will look after senior citizens suffering from dementia, depression, and other psychiatric ailments.
The centre will be housed in two premises outside the hospital that was renovated by the Thane District Planning Committee. “We wanted keep the centre outside the hospital so that patients do not have to suffer the stigma of entering a mental hospital,” said Dr Sanjay Kumavat, medical superintendent of the hospital. The project is named Saptasopan or seven stages of treatment.
Many senior citizens suffer from dementia and various other associated ailments. “Dementia, which is loss of brain function, can be mistaken for the natural process of aging. If identified early, such cases can be considerably controlled and effectively managed. There is, however, no permanent cure for dementia,” said Dr Anjali Deshpande, a psychiatrist with the hospital.
The hospital has identified about 50 to 60 elderly people around the Mulund-Thane area. For a fee of Rs500 per month, these patients will be provided transport to and from their homes, counselling, training in memory enhancing exercises and emergency medical care.
Equipped with doctors, nurses and volunteers, the hospital will provide entertainment in the form of yoga, bhajans and meditation classes. The hospital is also encouraging caregivers of the patients to visit the centre and understand how to handle them.