Striving for PROGRESS, not perfection

A 74-year-old lady, Mrs Nanda Kiran* was brought to our Centre by her husband and daughter-in-law, with chief complaints of difficulty in swallowing food and water, regurgitating food particles, reduced speech, decreased social interaction, reduced expressions/reactions, reduced interest in activities of daily living and a shuffling gait. She had a past history of Stroke and was a known case of Parkinson’s Disease and Vascular Dementia.
At the Centre, she was observed to refuse food and if insisted upon, her face would convey pain in swallowing. Medical investigations conducted revealed no physiological reasons for pain or regurgitation of food particles. Thus, motivation and distraction techniques were employed to shift her focus from the process of swallowing and increase her food intake. Post meals, she would be engaged in brief time-limited cognitive/motor activities (for e.g. number cancellation/grain segregation tasks, etc.) to keep her occupied and reduce/prevent regurgitation. She was also introduced in various social situations (meeting new people, making requests, etc.). Hints/cues were provided during interactions to aid and increase her participation. The case was incontinent, for which a toilet schedule was created with her being taken to the toilet every 3 hours. Moreover, a daily schedule was created, to provide a sense of order and purpose. Various cognitive, social and recreational based activities were conducted during the day, to stimulate her on different levels. Physiotherapy interventions were introduced for improving her gait pattern and increasing her upper and lower limb strength.
Post interventions, the case was able to eat meals without any difficulty. Her food intake increased, with her weight increasing by 5.5 kgs. She started going for formal dinners and would choose her food of preference. Her interactions improved significantly. She started independently interacting with people of different age-groups. As her interactions increased, so did her reactivity, with her even using humour. Although she couldn’t be taken off diapers permanently, towards her end of time with us, she was able to communicate her need to use the toilet most of the time. She would look forward to attending the Centre and would remind the staff about her daily activities. Post physiotherapy interventions, she resumed her evening walks and occasional dances with her husband, although she needed constant reminders to take longer steps.
The above case highlights the need for more Centres that can provide rehabilitation in a holistic and integrated manner, by offering not just medical but also physical and psychosocial rehabilitation to seniors under one roof. Currently, most places offer medical and physical rehabilitation to seniors, ignoring their and their families’ psychosocial needs. As professionals working in the field of geriatric health, it is important for us to work towards improving the senior’s health in a holistic manner.
*Name changed to maintain confidentiality.
To know more or to visit our Old Age Home and Assisted Living Facility: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087027.

A little progress each day adds up to BIG results

Mr Neeraj Wadkar* is a 74-year-old senior with a history of Mental Retardation, who was shifted to our Assisted Living Facility post discharge from a hospital. He came to us malnourished, with rib fractures, severe muscle contractures and muscle stiffness in both legs, and was under treatment for pulmonary embolism.

During his first few days at our Assisted Living Facility, Mr Wadkar was given time to familiarise himself with the facility, staff and routine. Since he had been a member of our Elder Day Care Centre, his transition was smooth and he adjusted easily to the team. At meal times, he would eat the food served without any particular food preferences or dislikes. Nutritious, dietician advised meals were served to him through the day. Liquid intake was also monitored, and over a period of 2 months, his weight increased by 2 kgs. At the time of admission, Mr Wadkar was unable to walk even with support. He could not stretch his legs straight, and his back was slightly stooped. Physiotherapy interventions were introduced to improve his mobility, range of movements and to strengthen both his upper and lower limbs. Mr Wadkar was also preoccupied with concerns about his sleep and had an increased dependency on his caretakers which resulted in his need to have a companion present with him at all times. He constantly wanted to hold someone’s hand, even while sleeping. To reduce his over-dependency, he was gradually weaned off the hand holding habit by giving him other objects to hold during interactions, and distracting him from his need to hold hands. He was also given tasks during the day to physically and cognitively tire him, to improve his night time sleeping.

Towards the end of his second month with us, Mr Wadkar showed signs of loss of power in his left hand and leg. He was evacuated immediately to the nearest hospital, where he was diagnosed with Chronic Subdural Haematoma, which was a side effect of the blood-thinning medicine being given to him for the treatment of pulmonary embolism. Post-discharge, physiotherapeutic interventions were carried out for restoring muscle power and improve the muscle functioning. Our Doctor was in regular contact with the treating physicians and made the necessary changes in the treatment plan as advised. The nurses regularly dressed the operative wound and dispensed medicines on time, which led to an uneventful and quick recovery.

Currently, Mr Wadkar is able to carry out all his activities of daily living with assistance and he is walking unaided. His need for constant companionship and over dependence on caretakers has reduced, and although he is still preoccupied about his sleep, his night time sleep has improved.

The above case highlights the need for more facilities that can look after people who need a higher level of care than can be provided at home and at the same time do not require hospitalisation, such as an assisted living facility.

*Name changed to maintain confidentiality

To know more or to visit our Assisted Living Facility: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087027.

Hope is not a PLAN

Like many of our SRCF employees, a number of adult children stay away from their parents due to various reasons. This results in a large population of elderly ageing parents living alone. Being concerned about their health, we invest in health insurances and medications and hope for their good health and wellbeing.

However, medical emergencies can defeat the best of our plans. Numerous studies have concluded that seniors living alone are at an increased risk of mortality since they usually have a poor social network to prompt medical attention in case of acute symptoms.

Over the past few weeks, we have had medical emergencies at our Old Age Home – a chronic subdural haematoma, a stroke, and severe hypoglycemia – which were promptly and effectively managed by our team, leading to better health outcomes for our residents and a renewed strength in our conviction towards our work and vision.

To know more or to visit our Old Age Home: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087027.

Small, simple but SIGNIFICANT

English author A.A. Milne made an astute observation – ‘Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart’. It is the small things in everyday life that put a smile on our faces – a hot cup of tea, fresh sheets on the bed, a good book to read, a smile from a passerby. Although small, they have the power to steer our day from being bad to good.

As an organisation, working in elder care, we have always endeavoured to add value to our seniors’ lives, in all ways possible. Experience has taught us, that wishes seeming small and minor, hold a much greater and deeper meaning/significance for the elders.

At our Old Age Home in Baner, Pune, we consider no request as trivial or insignificant, and always attempt to fulfil the needs of our residents. One of our residents enjoys his morning and evening walks, however, he is unable to venture out independently due to his own fear of falling. By assigning an attendant to accompany him on his walks, our resident feels a lot more confident and able. He also loves drinking tea, and if he could have his way, he would replace all his meals with tea. Although none of us at the Old Age Home wish to deny him this simple pleasure or prevent him from exercising his right to choose, we are concerned about the effect of so much tea on his health. By moderating the quantity of tea per serving we assuaged our own concerns regarding our resident’s health, while at the same time we honour, value and fulfil his request for a cup of tea every time, all the time.

To know more about our Old Age Home: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087027.

Less House, More Home

Early this year, SRCF started working on establishing an Old Age Home & Assisted Living facility in Baner in Pune. We customised an apartment block to accommodate up to 36 residents with each flat made to cater to the needs of elderly.

As a full-service facility managed by a professional team with compassion, we believe we have created that right mix of so many things which makes any place, a home and not just a house.

We are well on the way to create a diverse collection of books for our library and a small area for audiovisual entertainment to keep our residents engaged and happy.

SRCF began accepting admissions to its Old Age Home in late March, and we are happy to report that we already have 10 residents at our Facility who have been referred to our Old Age Home.

To know more: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087027.

See the ABLE, not the Label

Dutch inspirational speaker, Alexander Den Heijer, has aptly pointed out that “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. Endeavouring to sensitise our communities to children with special needs, SRCF organised a colouring event – Rang Kala, on Sunday 23/04/2017, for children with special needs at our Physiotherapy and Special Children Rehabilitation Centre, in Jambhulkar Centre.

47 enthusiastic children and their equally spirited parents turned up at the Centre on Sunday morning and filled it with colours, fun, and laughter. The children showed their versatility in creativity through their colouring, dancing, and musical skills. One of the participants even demonstrated different yoga poses beneficial to children and adults alike. All the children were awarded a certificate of excellence for their unparalleled talent.

SRCF would like to thank all our participants and their parents for allowing us to glimpse and experience their loving, vibrant and warm spirit.

To organise similar events in your community email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087035 / +91 8380087042.

    

Every child is an artist – Picasso

While promoting rights for women Malala Yousafzai had famously stated, ‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back’. The same words stand true for children with disabilities. Considering the paucity of platforms available to them, SRCF is pleased to organise ‘Rang-Kala’, a colouring event for our children with disabilities at its Physiotherapy and Special Children Rehabilitation Centre in Wanowarie.

Open to children between the ages of 3 and 15 years, SRCF will be providing all material for the event to be held on Sunday, 23/04/2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. To make the event accessible to maximum children, SRCF has waived registration charges and requests all parents/guardians to register their children for the event by 20/04/2017.

To register your child or know more email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +918380087035 / +91 8380087042.

Come and be inspired to be a special kind of person, through our children with special needs.

Making Smiles Signature Accessories

On March 21st, SRCF launched its Dental Unit, a first of its kind dental services for the residents of Ramtekdi which is an urban slum, near Hadapsar Pune. The inauguration received a warm response from the community and is a welcome addition to Anand Chhaya, our medical services centre in the slum. The Dental Unit builds on existing Medical OPD and Physiotherapy OPD services which are already being offered.

As per the survey conducted by SRCF in association with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, 37% of elders have dental problems.
Anand Chhaya’s Dental Unit has all the necessary equipment required to address most common dental procedures such as root canals, scaling, filling, extractions, crowns, bridges and dentures. Under an arrangement with AFMC’s Dental Department, which is close by, complex cases will be referred to them and will be treated for free.

On Sunday, March 26th, SRCF held a dental camp to create awareness about its dental services at Anand Chhaya. To promote SRCF’s view that it is not dentistry that is expensive but neglect, the consultation charge was kept at a most affordable INR 10 per consultation. 77 residents of all ages attended the camp.

To volunteer your services or to partner with us, email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087045.

Because tomorrow needs her

There is a saying, ‘when the queen is happy there is peace in the kingdom’. However, we believe that ‘when the queen is healthy and happy only then can there be peace and prosperity in the kingdom’. So SRCF found no better day than 08th March, International Women’s Day, to conduct a health camp for the women of Ramtekdi community, focussing on Breast Cancer and Anaemia.

Senior Gynaecologist Dr Gupta conducted a talk on Breast Cancer and a group session for women, wherein they were taught different methods to screen themselves for Breast Cancer. The women were later on examined by Dr Gupta as well.

45 women from the community took the Haemogram test, which was offered at reduced rates. The result of the tests revealed 8 women to be anaemic, with a Haemoglobin (Hb) count ranging between 7 and 9.

SRCF is planning to conduct a group session for these women in end of March, to educate them about Anaemia and the different ways to improve their Hb count. We are working on identifying partners who can support SRCF’s efforts to reduce the incidence and severity of Anaemia in the community.

To volunteer your services or to partner with us, email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087045.

When it comes to health, there is no ‘them’ only ‘US’

As an organization, we strongly believe that all individuals, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or economic status, should have access to the best possible medical care. In keeping with this belief, we established ‘Anand Chhaya’ – a medical facility in Ramtekdi, Pune which is one of the largest slums in Pune.

Over the past two months, we have supported the residents by extending Medical and Physiotherapy services at our Facility as well as at their homes.

We constantly endeavour to reach out to the largest number of people not only for treatment purposes but also for spreading awareness about different health conditions.

In January of this year, we conducted a health camp to create awareness about the importance of physio-therapeutic interventions and exercises in managing chronic orthopaedic ailments such as Arthritis, Frozen shoulder, etc.

In February, we held a medical camp to address problems related to Diabetes and Hypertension. The team focussed on creating awareness about the common yet life impacting medical conditions, their early identification and effective management to avoid further complications. The camp was attended by 83 residents of the community, showing their active participation in improving their community’s health on the whole.

On International Woman’s Day, next week, our team is working towards assessing overall health of women in the community with a focus on Diabetes, Anaemia and Breast Cancer.

If you would like SRCF to conduct health camps in your community of choice, please feel free to contact us.

​Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 8380087045.