Setting up of National Institutes of Aging at New Delhi and Chennai India has been included in the 12th Five Year with a specific objective of health care for elderly people, including promotion of research in the field of geriatrics.
Geriatrics or geriatric medicine is a sub-specialty of internal medicine and family medicine that focuses on health care of elderly people. It aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults. There is no set age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician or geriatric physician, a physician who specializes in the care of elderly people.
Under the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) started in 2010-11, 8 Regional Medical Institutes have already been selected and funded for establishment of dedicated geriatric departments for the benefit of the elderly population, which will also be responsible for research on specific elderly diseases.
No project on development of low-cost medicines for Alzheimer’s disease has been supported under NPHCE.
Perhaps the most pressing issue facing geriatrics is the treatment and prevention of delirium. This is a condition in which hospitalized elderly patients become confused and disoriented when confronted with the uncertainty and confusion of a hospital stay. The health of the patient will decline as a result of delirium and can increase the length of hospitalization and lead to other health complications. The treatment of delirium involves keeping the patient mentally stimulated and oriented to reality, as well as providing specialized care in order to ensure that her/his needs are being met.