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.

No one has ever become poor by giving

All work done by SRCF is driven by its vision to provide individuals with the best possible supervised, personalized and appropriate care, in order to restore optimal health, independence, dignity and quality of life, while making health care accessible to all. Working with this vision, SRCF started “Anand Chhaya”, a healthcare facility in the Ramtekdi community.

Besides providing medical services, SRCF is also working towards helping the community seniors procure monthly pensions. Under Pune Municipal Corporation’s Mata Ramai Bhimrao Ambedkar Scheme, seniors receive a monthly pension of Rs. 1000/-, while under the Central Government’s Shravanbal Seva Rajya Nivritti Vetan Yojana, seniors receive a monthly pension of Rs. 600/-. Since many seniors are unaware of these schemes or the process for registering themselves, SRCF is assisting them in procuring the required documents and filling the forms.

There are around 1500 elders residing in the Ramtekdi community, 500 of whom have already been identified by SRCF. Documentation procedure for 106 seniors has already been completed, with SRCF aiming to cover all 500 by December 2017. Although Rs. 1000/- may sound like a small amount to most of us, but it has vast implications for the seniors and the community.

Once the disbursal of the pension begins, the seniors will have a fixed amount of money at their disposal on a monthly basis without having to depend on their families. They could use the money for their medical needs and not ignore their health. Moreover, on a larger scale there would be an increase in the amount of money coming in the Ramtekdi community, which would not only boost the local businesses but also improve the living standards of the locals.

To donate in kind, funds or your time: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 9579357008.

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation

As the year 2016 draws to a close, SRCF inaugurated its Senior Citizen Outpost Centre, “Anand Chhaya” in Ramtekdi for the elders of the community. The Centre is currently offering General Medicine OPD and Physiotherapy services and will soon be offering Dental services to the residents as well.

Ramtekdi community has over 1000 elders. In November of 2015, SRCF with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) conducted a survey on 500 elders of the community. The survey found 52% of the seniors to have Arthritis, 37% to have dental issues, 20% to have Blood Pressure and another 20% to have diabetes among other conditions.

In view of these alarming numbers, SRCF undertook the task of taking healthcare to the seniors ‘ doorstep and establishing a Medical Centre in the locality, for the benefit of the entire community. “Anand Chhaya” will provide health care services to the seniors at subsidized rates, so that neither the families nor the seniors themselves neglect their health.

The inauguration was met with a resounding response. More than 300 residents of the community attended the event, and the first day saw 65 elders registering for the services.

“Anand Chhaya” is not only the result of the effort put in by the members of the SRCF family but also the result of the kindness of people who shared our dream and donated to the cause. We thank each and every donor for helping us realize our dream.

To donate and know more: Email us on hello@src.foundation or call us on +91 9579357008.

SRCF Impact: Great improvement in a 72 year old elder’s behavior.

Our Patient Story: A 72 year old resident of Viman Nagar, Pune joined SRCF’s Elder Day Care Centre on 07 Dec 2015. He was born in Karachi (Pakistan) in 1943 and shifted to India on partition. His mental development was improper since childhood as he has had a history of head injury.  Although, he is in good physical health and is able to take care of all his daily activities, he has problem of memory retention, recalling events, and often feels disoriented as regards time and place. He has problem of judgement and has limited problem solving skills. His relatives mentioned that he was unable to sleep at home at night even though he was on sedatives, once during the day and one before sleeping.

When he joined our centre, he was restless and complained of headache, flatulence and insomnia, all of which were psychosomatic in nature. This was affecting his diet. His family was unable to find what to feed him – everything seemed to cause more bothersome gas and headache.

After joining SRCF Elder Day Care Centre he was put through a creative use of physiotherapy equipment to treat his psychosomatic symptoms of headache, gas etc. Since joining, he has increased his exercise time to include stationary cycling and has commenced the weekly yoga session. He is eating better and is less worried about his symptoms which have reduced significantly.

The nursing and activities team engaged with him with simple jigsaw puzzles. His ability to do more complex puzzles has increased in the supportive environment at the center. He also spends some time on creative activities like using color pencils, crayons and is keen to show his art work to everyone.

He has become comfortable traveling every day to and fro to the center at Wanworie from Viman Nagar and over time, he has been able to increase the number of hours that he spends at the center.

His family members in consultation with his treating doctor stopped the afternoon dose of sedative so he is more alert and willing to participate in activities. He returns home every day, more peaceful and willing to sleep. He has started sleeping well through the night.

Team SRCF is happy that his family also get rest during the day and are able to pursue their own interests. They too now sleep peacefully along with the patient through the night, something that had become a distant memory.

If you know a person who could benefit from the services we offer, or if you have someone at who who need some support, please contact us: Call us at +91 9595 15 7011 Or Send us a email with your contact details at hello@src.foundation

Cognitive and Memory Training Activities:

What is memory training? Many people have trouble remembering things. Whether it is simple items on a shopping list, or the complicated plot of a movie or book, memory comes in handy every day, and when remembering is difficult, it can affect all aspects of work and life. This loss of memory is compounded in Alzhimer’s patients since they tend to lose the recent memory more than long term memory, so that they may remember everything about their childhood, but may not recognize their own wife and children.

In most cases, memory training isn’t complicated. It just means improving patient’s ability to remember. Research has shown that when people keep their minds active, their thinking skills are less likely to decline. So games, puzzles, and other types of brain training may help slow memory loss and other mental problems. One study, reported on WebMD, involved more than 2,800 adults who were 65 years and older. They went to up to 10 brain-training sessions for 5 -6 weeks. The sessions focused on tactics for these skills: Memory, Reasoning and Speed of processing information. The study found that people who took the training showed improvements in these skills that lasted for at least 5 years. Further, they also improved at everyday tasks, such as the ability to manage money and do housework.

But do these exercises; prevent Alzheimer’s and other Dementias? Does brain training really help?

One study found that exercising the mind delayed decline in thinking skills. Also, after people started having Alzheimer’s symptoms, mental decline sped up in those who kept their minds engaged. It is possible that being mentally active bolstered their brain at first, so symptoms didn’t show up until later. What this means is that people who regularly challenge their minds may spend a shorter part of their lives in a state of decline, even if they do get Alzheimer’s.

There are different levels of memory training, and many different methods are used, including:

  • Eating right and physical exercise
  • PEG Lists, Mnemonics, Mental Maps etc
  • Sudoku, Crosswords, Memory based Board and Card Games
  • Tab or computer based or video games which challenge memory such as forcing the player to remember directions, faces etc

Memory training provided in one on one individual session, works by targeting weak memory centers in the brain to make them active and strong. A brain with even one weak cognitive skill is like a shopping cart with a busted wheel. You could do your shopping with it, but it will take longer, and be much more frustrating. And if all four wheels are broken, you will have to carry the cart around the store, which is completely inefficient. Similarly, if all your cognitive skills are weak, learning will be next to impossible. Cognitive skills enhancement programs, including memory training, fix the wheels on the shopping cart so that a person can function without impediment.

Our team will provide both group and one on one session to elders with declining cognitive abilities. Besides the team, we have the tools, physical, digital and online to support memory enhancement of the elders.

SRCF starts an Elder Day Care Center

We have started work on an Elder Day Care Center to change the way Dementia patients are being managed today. For our elders, we seek to create a happy environment through group and individual interventions. We will start accepting requests for support in September 2015

SRCF has commenced work with TISS

As part of the expanded geriatric care program, SRCF has commenced work with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to do the first of its kind social and medical survey of elders in an Urban Slum in Pune to determine the possible interventions: preventive health, food &nutrition supplements etc. We expect to have the survey completed inthe next few months when we will share the highlights widely