HeWee Go: the device that could stop you from visiting the toilet ever again

needingtopee

For elders with bladder weakness, a simpler, cleaner, easier-to-use urine system is on the way.

Here are some of the details

A jockstrap-cum-colostomy-bag, the HeWee allows you to urinate on the go and is formed of an adjustable support belt, rubber sheath and leg-mounted collection bag. Unsurprisingly, it looks just as ridiculous as it sounds.

Which is where the HeWee Go Active comes in.

Senior citizen welfare fund

The ministry released the notification dated March 18 about the fund, which will be utilised for schemes for the promotion of the welfare of senior citizens in line with the National Policy on Older Persons and the National Policy on Senior Citizens.

pension-759The Ministry of Finance released the rules for creation of Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, which will have funds from unclaimed deposits in small savings schemes including Post Office Savings Accounts, Public Provident Fund and Employees’ Provident Fund within one year.

The ministry released the notification dated March 18 about the fund, which will be utilised for schemes for the promotion of the welfare of senior citizens in line with the National Policy on Older Persons and the National Policy on Senior Citizens.

To read the entire article, go here.

Don’t give away all to your children, doctor advises parents

A new book called the Generation Gap has been released by Dr. V S Natarajan and Ms. Hema Narasimhan to delve into various aspects of elder abuse.

Here is an excerpt from the Hindu article.

vsnMake a will to protect your children but keep enough for yourself so you don’t have to depend on them in your old age. Take an active part in their day-to-day routine but never interfere in your children’s issues unless asked for. These are some of the solutions in geriatric expert Dr VS Natarajan’s new book ‘Generation Gap’ that was released on Wednesday .

The two-part English book, by Natarajan and Hema Narasimhan, delves deep into the issue of elder abuse and its various forms rampant in Indian society .

The senior geriatrician, who says he drew inspiration from his many of his patients opening up to him about their children, includes several real stories.

One of them is about a rich elderly woman in Purasaiwalkam, Natarajan’s patient for many years. She sought his advice after her only son threatened to poison her if she did not transfer properties to his name.”The reasons could be that children look at their personal happiness above the welfare of their parents .With real estate boom, children want to sell off their parents’ properties and make money . These are only my hypothesis,” he said.

Dr Natarajan, the author of 30 medical books, had penned a book with the same title in 2015, analysing the abuse of elderly at home.
Natarajan advises senior citizens to lead independent lives and be aware of laws protecting them from mistreatment, while urging at the same time children to spend quality time with their parents. “It not just food and shelter that old people need. They need love and care too,” he said.

“They have to remember that what they do to their parents will be repeated in their old age,” he added.

To read the entire article, go here.

Choosing the right wheelchair

Heart-Health-Wheelchair-Stock-Photo-wheelchair-cartoonChoosing the right wheelchair for an elderly relative is a non-trivial activity. Wheelchairs come in many shapes and sizes, in many different materials, and designed for different uses.

Here are 15 questions for which you need to know answers in order to decide on the right wheelchair.

Is it for indoor use or outdoor use?
If it is for outdoor use, ensure that the back wheels are big. This will ensure that the wheelchair can take the ups and downs of Indian roads and platforms.

Is it foldable?
Most wheelchairs are foldable. Since wheelchairs are stored away for much of the day and through out the night (in the case of seniors), a foldable wheelchair will occupy less space when not in use.

Will it fit into my car boot?
Sometimes, you may want to take the wheelchair with you. In such cases, it is important that the wheelchair folds into a compact size so that it can be easily stowed away in the boot or back seat of the car.

Are the armrests removable?
Removable armrests help in sliding from bed to the wheelchair and back. This can help if the user of the wheelchair is capable of moving sideways, and the bed and wheelchair are at almost the same height.

Are the footrests removable?
Removable footrests ensure that the wheelchair folds into a smaller place as well as help in making the wheelchairs less unwieldy while transporting.

How heavy is the wheelchair?
Sometimes, the person helping the user of the wheelchair may also be a senior citizen. In such cases, it is very important that the helper is able to lift and maneuver the chair. where possible, buy a lighter wheelchair.

How much weight can the wheelchair bear?
A typical wheelchair is certified for about 100 kilos. In the case that the user is much heavier, go for a bariatric range wheelchair.

What are the dimensions of the wheelchair?
In many homes, the doorways and passages can be very narrow. The bathroom doors, in particular, are usually only 2 – 2.5 feet wide in many Indian homes. Before purchasing the wheelchair, ensure that the wheelchair is able to go to all the places you plan to take it to.

Self-propelled or attendant chair?
A self-propelled manual wheelchair will have large wheels while an attendant wheelchair may have smaller wheels and brakes for the attendant to use. Choose depending on usage. If the person using the wheelchair does not have enough strength to propel themselves, go for a wheelchair designed for attendant use.

Is it for transit purposes?
If you are planning to use the wheelchair only during travel (at airports and railway stations, etc), then go for one of the very light-weight, compact aluminium transit wheelchair models.

Is reclining an option?
Some wheelchairs allow for reclining. These usually are larger and take up much more space. If a person is going to be sitting in a wheelchair for long periods, the reclining option may be useful.

Will it rust?
Wheelchairs come in different materials from mild steel to high-grade aluminium and other alloys. If you are planning to take the wheelchair into bathrooms and toilets or expect it to come in contact with the elements, go for an aluminium one. Chrome plated wheelchairs tend to rust after a while.

Motorized or manual?
Unless you are living in a high-end gated community with smooth roads and pavements, there is usually very little value in going for a motorized wheelchair in India as most places are not conducive for motorized wheelchair use. Needless to say, Indian roads are not safe for motorized wheelchairs.

Is a commode attached?
A few models of wheelchairs come with commodes attached, so they act as portable commodes as well as wheelchairs. Under most circumstances, it is preferable to keep the wheelchair and the commode separate for various reasons. However, if you need them together, know that such models are available.

What is the cost?
Wheelchairs, like most other things, come in different price brackets. Choose one that fits your budget.

If you have more doubts, write to us at info@oldisgoldstore.com

Adult Diapers and their benefits

Adult diapers come in two designs – Nappy type and Panty type.

incontThe nappy type diapers are for people who are bed-ridden or those that need to wear them while at home or overnight, while the pull-on panty type diapers are for mobile people.

The advantages of wearing pull-on panty type diapers are as follows:

  1. They are relatively thin and discreet. No one will know that one is wearing them.
  2. Just like regular underwear they can be easily removed and worn again. So, if one has access to a toilet, one can use it by pulling down the diaper, urinating into the toilet and pulling the diaper up back in position afterwards.
  3. In case no suitable toilet is available, as most diapers are geared to absorb at least a litre of liquid, one can urinate into the diaper without worries.
  4. The diapers will absorb all the liquid and keep the outer side and the inner side dry. This prevents problems due to the skin being constantly being damp.
  5. The diapers are also designed to contain smell so even when the diaper is saturated, no urine smell will emanate from them.

The advantages of nappy-type diapers are:

  1. They are highly absorbent
  2. They have wetness indicators to tell you when they need to be changed.
  3. They maintain dryness on the inside as well as outside.
  4. They are easy to put on for others, especially for those that are bed-ridden.
  5. They prevent smells from escaping.

Though diapers are not very environmentally friendly, they are the best option that is currently available for problems relating to bladder weakness.

Thodu Needa, heaven where marriages are made

A recent article in The Asian Age relating to elder care, companionship, and remarriage.

Excerpts below:

remarriage“Everyone deserves companionship, even in the final chapters of their lives,” says N.M. Rajeshwari, who, in a bid to felicitate this thought, founded an organisation Thodu Needa in Hyderabad. Her organisation works towards providing emotional support to the elderly; its sole purpose is to build lasting friendship, share ideas, encourage participation and enjoy life with like-minded people and if they wish, remarry.

“A few years ago, I read an article about a man in Mumbai who was helping the elderly get remarried. That’s when the idea of doing something similar here struck me,” she recalls. Many of them toil hard their entire lives by bringing up their children. Yet, owing to various reasons, several of them are left to fend for themselves in their old age, she says. “I wanted to create a platform for these elderly people to choose a suitable companion to live with.”

Today, the organisation has over 600 active members and has successfully conducted over 100 marriages. “We conducted three weddings this year alone,” she says with pride. The only criteria she emphasises on: They should be above 50 years of age and seeking companionship.

You can read the entire article here.

Understanding men and women in their old age

depression-in-the-elderly-290x217A recent article in the Times of India talks about how men tend to get depressed in their old age while women tend to get more adventurous.

This is something we have also noticed on our trips to old age homes and retirement communities. In all of these places, women appear happier and more participative while the men appear subdued and sombre. While the women band together and enjoy group activities, the men seem to shy away from the company of others.

There could be many reasons for this difference in behaviour, especially in an largely male dominated Indian environment.

Let’s look at why women may be happier at old age homes.

1. They have other women of the same age group to share their days with. There are a fair number of studies that show that women thrive in the company of their girl friends.

2. They don’t have to cook, at least unless they actually want to.

3. They are no longer expected to be at the beck and call of their husband / children.

4. They no longer have to take care of all the house work.

5. For the first time in their lives, they have the time to pursue things that interest them.

As for the men:

1. They feel they are no longer the centre of their families. They are no longer the bread-winner in the family and this can take some getting used to. Retirement deprives them of work, company of peers, and the self-esteem that comes from earning.

2. Without work, there is no vacation. Many men make elaborate plans for after their retirement with rest, relaxation and recuperation forming a large part of it, only to find themselves looking for work again, not for the money but to feel part of a society in which they are a contributing member. So the free time they should be enjoying no longer feels like an extended vacation, but makes them feel they are wasting time.

3. Many of the retirement homes do not allow liquor. Some of the men who had enjoyed some social drinking during their working days may be missing such activities.
If your parents are living in an old age home or retirement community, please do observe them and see if they are showing any signs of depression. Especially the men, they may not tell you themselves that they are feeling depressed. But with your care, some counselling and where required, proper treatment, you can help them live their senior years in a happy frame of mind.

Enteral Feeding – An introduction

Enteral-Feeding32Sometimes, a bedridden person may not be able to ingest food through their mouth. This can be due to various reasons, from refusing to eat (in some cases of dementia) to inability to swallow due to being comatose, having neurological problems, having obstructions in the food canal or other similar problems.

Under such circumstances Doctors advice enteral feeding. Enteral feeding is defined as delivery of a nutritionally complete feed, containing protein, carbohydrate, fat, water, minerals and vitamins, directly into the stomach, duodenum or jejunum. Basically, what this means is that the doctors will insert a tube into the body and you will have to use that tube as the means to feed the patient. The food, in this case, would be a nutritionally complete meal replacement powder such as Ensure, Fresubin or some other brand.

The feeding tube can be inserted in a couple of different  ways. Given below is a brief layman’s understanding of them.

Nasogastric intubation
In this case, the doctor will insert a narrow bore tube, called a Ryles’ tube or a nasogastric tube, through one of the nostrils into the stomach or duodenum(which is the part of the small intestine just after the stomach). Whenever feeding is required, the desired quantity of the meal replacement solution (freshly prepared) can be injected into the tube slowly. Alternately a bag of the food can be attached to the tube and the food released slowly over an extended period. It is usually recommended that this method is used for no more than six weeks at a time, but if no other option is available, this can be used indefinitely subject to the patient not suffering any major discomfort.

This type of intubation is contra-indicated under some conditions such as

  • High risk of aspiration
  • Gastric stasis
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Upper gastrointestinal stricture
  • Nasal injuries
  • Base of skull fractures

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is an endoscopic medical procedure in which a tube (PEG tube) is passed into a patient’s stomach through the abdominal wall. In some cases, the tube is extended into the duodenum or the jejunum. This method for enteral feeding is indicated when such feeding is required for extended periods of time measured in years. To install the PEG tube, an invasive operation is required. In one popular method, an endoscope is inserted through the mouth or nostril into the stomach and a light flashed to identify the area where the incision needs to be made. Then an incision is made in the abdominal wall and the stomach and the tube inserted into the stomach. The stomach is then stapled or sutured to the inner abdominal wall at that point so that it does not move and dislodge the tube. The operation is relatively straight-forward and is conducted very often under local anesthesia nowadays.

Since an operation is required, this is not suitable for patients too weak to undergo operations under local or general anesthesia. In addition, this operation becomes difficult if the patient does not have the ability to swallow as that makes it difficult for the endoscope to be inserted.

PEG reduces dramatically the possibility of aspiration (food coming back up from the stomach) and reflux and is ideal in cases where the need for enteral feeding is for a prolonged period.

If your loved elder is unable to eat normally, do consult your doctor regarding enteral feeding.