November 28, 2011

QATAR: Workshop on care for elderly begins at HMC

DOHA, Qatar / The Peninsula / Life Style / November 28, 2011

Enhancing long-term care for the elderly in Qatar, a four-day workshop for health care workers began here yesterday. The intensive study course by Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing (MEAMA), at Hamad Medical Corporation, will cover important topics of health-related problems in older people.

The course has brought in physicians, nurses, social workers, and health care officers, responsible for the health care of older people.

“The number of elderly people is growing and they frequently have health-related problems with a mixture of physical, mental, social and behavioural aspects. In the past, these problems were seen only in a few older people and the families were able to take care of their parents or old relatives,” said Dr Prof Palmi V Jonsson, Chief of Geriatrics at Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland, and a professor of Geriatrics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland.

“However, societies are changing as a result of the demographic and cultural developments and they face the increasing possibilities of modern medicine. The programme was initiated as part of efforts to have more experts in geriatric medicine,” he said.

The event at HMC focuses on challenges in long term care organisation and management. The course is extended over four weeks in two years adding to a total of 20 working days.

“In Qatar, we define those above the age of 60 as elderly, and currently these people account for three to four percent of our population. However, our current young population will grow old and so we see an exponential growth in the elderly population over the coming years,” said Dr Marwan Ramdan, Consultant- Geriatrician, and Vice Chairman, Department of Geriatrics, HMC.

HMC had the first department for geriatric care in the region in 1994. The department has some 15 physicians and number of paramedics exclusively for the elderly care.

“Here, people are mostly taken care at home, but there are some cases that need to taken care at hospitals. Also the government here gives special provisions for the elderly, by supplying them salary to have sevants, giving equipments as wheel chair and also free home casre services,” he said.

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