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.

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.