Sunday, 5 January 2014

Old people just need company, says doctor

A medical professional has said that old people who suffer from ailments need company to help keep their spirits up because of their advancing years and poor health.

"I usually find older patients to be depressed with their lives," says Dr. Apollina Sharma, who spent time with them while she was working at the Wenlock Government Hospital in Mangalore, India, during her medical internship.

Dr Apollina Sharma (centre). Reproduced with permission
"I used to get a lot of patients that used to come into psychiatry and even if they come into medicine, they're usually let down," she explains.

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"They're not happy psychologically because they have these chronic disease conditions that don't seem to be getting any better or because they just don't have anyone to talk to. That way, it is really hard [for them]."

"I remember spending time with this one particular patient that I had because I wanted to know exactly what was the problem, why was she reluctant to take her medicines, why did she have such a negative outlook on life," she recalls.

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Apollina says that it is the company of others that old people need the most.

"Instead of prescribing medications, old people, usually, you just need to speak with them," she says. "So I took time out and I spoke to her. I got to know a little bit about her problems and they just want someone to talk to.

"At that age, they need care and they need attention because their health is deteriorating. They're not as fit and fine as young-age people, so naturally they need someone."

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