Keeping in view the recommendations made in the “National Policy on Older Persons” as well as the State’s obligation under the “Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act 2007”, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched the “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly” (NPHCE) during the year 2010, in the 11th Plan period, to address various health related problems of elderly people.
Following strategies will be adopted to achieve the above mentioned objectives:
Preventive and promotive care: The preventive and promotive health care services such as regular physical exercise, balanced diet, vegetarianism, stress management, avoidance of smoking or tobacco products and prevention of fall, etc. are provided by expanding access to health practices through domiciliary visits by trained health workers. They will impart health education to old persons as well as their family members on care of older persons. Besides, regular monitoring and assessment of old persons are carried out for any infirmity or illness by organizing weekly clinic at PHCs.
Management of Illness: Dedicated outdoor and indoor patients services will be developed at PHCs, CHCs, District Hospitals and Regional Geriatric Centres for management of chronic and disabling diseases by providing central assistance to the State Governments.
Health Man Power Development for Geriatric Services : To overcome the shortage of trained medical and para-medical professionals in geriatric medicine, in service training will be imparted to the health manpower using standard training modules prepared with the help of medical colleges and regional institutions. The post graduate courses in geriatric medicine will be introduced in Regional Geriatric Centres for which additional teaching and supportive faculties are provided to these institutions.
Medical Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Intervention: By arranging therapeutic modalities like therapeutic exercises, training in activities of daily life (ADL) & treatment of pain and inflammation through physiotherapy unit at CHC, district hospital and Regional Geriatric Centre levels for which necessary infrastructure, medicine and equipment are provided to these identified units.
Information, Education & Communication (IEC): Health education programmes using mass media, folk media and other communication channels are being promoted to reach out to the target community for promoting the concept of healthy ageing, importance of physical exercise, healthy habits, and reduction of stress. Camps for regular medical check-up are being organised at various levels where IEC activities are also specifically promoted.