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.

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.

 

Free bus pass for Senior Citizens in TN

MTC3Apart from availing tokens for free bus travel that will be distributed to senior citizens at 42 bus stands and depots across the city, senior citizens can also download forms at www.mtcbus.org.

The applicants should submit proof of age and two passport size photographs with the applications.

The scheme would be implemented from Wednesday. People over sixty can apply for tokens at designated bus stands and depots. Ten tokens will be issued every month to every senior citizen, an official release said. – Special Correspondent

 

 

A parent getting discharged from hospital?

Intensive Care signWhen a loved one gets hospitalized, there are Doctors and nurses to look after them while they are under their care. Despite that, the period of hospitalization can be very taxing, both emotionally and physically for the family members.

However, a bigger challenge awaits when the patient gets discharged and moves back home. Many times, especially in the case of elderly patients, there is a long recuperating period. Looking after them at home, without the guidance and support of Doctors, nurses and hospital equiment can be very difficult. Thankfully, you can turn to Old is Gold Store for guidance, training and information on post-discharge home health care.

In the meantime, here are a few things to learn:
1. Keeping important information handy
Emergencies are common. Keep all important information ready at hand. These could include contact details for Ambulance, the consulting physicians and other Doctors, Doctors who make house calls in your area, the pharmacy, the nursing agency, and immediate relatives apart from all the medical records including the latest prescriptions, and insurance papers.

2. Use of essential devices.
There are many devices that are needed to monitor, maintain and manage the condition of the patient. These include devices such as air beds, pulse oximeters, BP monitors, Glucometers, Nebulizers, Phlegm suction apparatus, hospital cots, wheelchairs, walkers and many other devices. Learning to use them effectively will go a long way in ensuring the patient’s successful and speedy recovery.

3. Maintaining hygiene.
Good hygiene is critical to reducing infection. The hygiene of the people looking after the patient as well as that of the patient themself are both equally important. Remember to wash hands regularly, limit the number of visitors, and ensure that the visitors wash their hands and feet before entering the patient’s room. Also learn how to use and change diapers and underpads, how to thoroughly clean urine and fecal matter and even how to clean wounds and replace dressing, if required.

Post-discharge home health care can be challenging. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.

Old is Gold Store can help guide you with information and training. Call 044-42666684 for an appointment.

A short film to create awareness about Parkinson’s Disease

A lot of people are still not aware of Parkinson’s Disease. Especially here in India, many people just think that the old man (or woman) is simply being obtuse and troublesome on purpose.  In this film, however, a doctor describes the condition in a lucid manner and hopefully this will help more people recognize this condition and approach a doctor for treatment.

Using your ATM/debit card safely.

ATM-MachineA recent study shows that people become more trusting as they age. While there are a lot of positives associated with this increased trust, this can also lead to an increase in gullibility among the elders.

Recent news items show how some people are taking advantage of the trusting nature of elders. Just recently, a senior citizen in Mumbai lost Rs. 40,000/- because he trusted a person while using an ATM machine. This is by no means an isolated incident. There are quite a number of such incidents happening every month – and these are just the reported incidents.

Here are a few things to remember while using your ATM/Debit card. We hope you will follow these suggestions and remain safe.

1. Do not give your ATM/Debit card to anyone else.
2. Do not give your ATM/Debit card PIN to anyone else.

If you think nobody does that, you are sadly mistaken. We see countless people who go to a shop, give their debit card and then loudly read out the PIN for the cashier to enter it into the credit card machine. What’s more, we even know an elderly lady who has given her card and PIN number to the neighborhood Kirana store owner so that along with provisions he can bring her some cash also, from time to time!

3. Do not write down your PIN anywhere that is easily accessible by others.

Since you are able to choose your 4-digit PIN, use a number that you are unlikely to forget. Typically, many memories from our childhood do not fade away. Use some of that to generate your PIN. That way, you will always remember it and it will be very difficult for others to guess it.
Some options you could use are:
A. The first 4 digits of your first phone number.
B. The school/college ID number
C. A part of your first-born’s birth date, or your grand-child’s birth date.
D. A part of your wedding date.
E. A part of your spouse’s birth date.

4. Where you have a choice, use an ATM that is within a bank. There is always better security inside a bank.
5. Do not let anyone near you when you are using the ATM. If somebody is crowding you, leave and come back later.
6. Stand close to the ATM machine while punching in the PIN so that no one can peer over your shoulders and note your PIN.
7. Remember to take your card out of the machine as soon as you are done. Press the cancel button once after you have finished your work and ensure that the screen comes back to its original state.
8. If a receipt is getting printed, make sure you take it. You can tear it a few times and discard it in a bin far away from the ATM.
9. If you are withdrawing cash, please count and ensure that you have got the right amount and then put the money safely into your pocket or purse before leaving the ATM.
10. Finally, if you lose your card or fear that someone has found out your PIN contact the bank immediately and report your card lost.

Stay safe!

Staying safe and allergy free this Diwali

8210-on-head_D_2Diwali is fast approaching. While this is a joyous festival, for many of our elders, this is a time of great trepidation.

After all, Diwali is inextricably entwined with fireworks, and this means heightened levels of pollution that can lead to breathing difficulties and chest infections. For people with weakened immunity, having asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diwali can be extremely taxing.

So here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your dear ones from the pollution:

  1. Avoid going out
  2. If possible stay inside an air-conditioned room. Ensure that the air-conditioner’s inlet vent is in closed position, so that it does not suck in outside air but keeps the same room air circulating. Most air-conditioners have a setting for this.
  3. Wear a mask. A N95 approved particulate respirator mask that covers the nose and mouth should do the trick. All the toxic particles released by bursting firecrackers will be blocked by this mask ensuring that none of it enters your lungs.
  4. If you suffer from asthma or bronchitis, make sure you have your inhalers and medication ready and with you at all times.
  5. If noise is an issue, get earplugs. Disposable soft earplugs that are gentle on the ears are available.
  6. If you wear hearing aids, this may be a good time to remove them or switch them off. [At least when you are at home and in a safe environment].
  7. Take all your regular medicines without fail.
  8. Drink plenty of fluids
  9. Encourage family, especially children, to reduce quantum of purchase of fireworks
  10. Call your doctor immediately if:
  • You have shortness of breath or wheezing that is rapidly getting worse.
  • You are coughing more deeply or more frequently, especially if you notice an increase in mucus (sputum) or a change in the color of the mucus you cough up.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You have increased swelling in your legs or abdomen.
  • You have a high fever (over 100 degrees).
  • You feel severe chest pain.
  • You develop flu symptoms.
  • You notice that your medicine is not working as well as it had been.
  • You use oxygen at home and feel like you need more. Use only the amount
  • recommended by your doctor. In some people with COPD, too much oxygen can
  • be dangerous.

Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy Diwali!  To buy the mask please visit our site.