CARE FOR THOSE WHO GRANTED US LIFE
The Joy of Old Age
For the last few years, the lifetime in Russia started to grow increasingly. However, international ageing of population goes quite fast. Thus, more and more attention is drawn to the topic of seniors’ healthcare. Gerontology that studies the processes of ageing and geriatrics that is basically seniors’ healthcare itself. Olga Tkachyova who is head geriatrician of Ministry of Health of Russian Federation told us about main achievements of geriatrics, secrets of staying young, etc.
According to Olga, “only two variants of reacting to ageing of population are possible. On the one hand, we can increase the number of hospitals, senior centres, etc. On the other hand, we should develop the prevention of ageing itself, which allows us to prolong the so-called active ageing and develop geriatrics”.
Geriatrics in Russia
Staff training in geriatrics is developing rapidly. Mrs. Tkachyova highlighted the fact that all staff involved in geriatrics should get necessary education. She explained, that “geriatrician is a doctor who diagnoses and cures illnesses of seniors. However, the work of junior medical staff is also important. They have to know the essence of geriatrics as well because seniors often depend on those around them”. The social part of geriatrics is also essential. Thus, social work specialists are always ready to consult senior or their relatives, to determine which type of care is needed, to help with paperwork and to contact the required social service centre.
All those who are older than 60 can use the help of geriatrician. In Russia, though geriatrics is only developing. That is why not so many seniors are aware of its existence. Primary care physician determines whether their patient needs geriatrician’s help and sends them to a doctor.
Patients and Treatment Specifics
“There are some seniors who don’t demand geriatrician’s help. However, the so-called weak patients need it. They are subject to depression, move slowly, and suffer from amnesia, muscle atrophy and many ageing-caused problems. In other words, those people lack independence and may become invalids. Complex approach is required to help them.” Ordinary doctors make diagnoses according to their area of competence and assign therapy. However, it may be inefficient for seniors. Sometimes intense administration of medication causes senescence. Geriatricians determine whether person’s symptoms are caused by illness or ageing and choose therapy afterwards.
Active Ageing and How to Prolong It
“We have several laboratories in our gerontological medical centre. We research various molecular, genetic and metabolic processes of ageing, describing how particular factors affect the ageing rate. Such modern and popular line of research is universally developing lately. Gerontologists are able to prolong your active ageing.” There is no medicine for ageing. However, there are some treatments and therapies which impact ageing mechanism. Among those are some medicine for hypertonia, diabetes, etc.
Mrs. Tkachyova highlighted, that ageing processes start to develop earlier than we think. According to the theory of prenatal ageing, baby’s ageing start to program even before it is born. It depends on mother’s health condition, baby’s genetics and lifestyle.
Olga says, that our country has developed the preventative medicine greatly over last years. It is widespread all over Russia and mostly free. One should eat healthily and quit smoking and drinking so as to age slowly.
It is the universal responsibility to care for those who granted us life. Together we can do great things. Russian gerontological clinical research centre provides several donation programmes connected to buying all the necessary medical appliances for seniors to live better. Centre’s website provides all the necessary information.
Centre also works with several philanthropic funds, for example Elena and Gennadiy Timchenko fund or The Joy of Old Age fund. They all support Russian senior centres.
Olga Tkachyova considers volunteering one of the greatest parts of philanthropic action. The centre recruits both young people and seniors as volunteers.
All-Russian Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics
On the 27-28th of April the second All-Russian Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics will be held in Moscow. It is remarkable that Russia will receive such a meeting for the first time. It will gather specialists from all over the world. It is important to consider national mentality and skills of international specialists there.
It is also interesting that most representatives at the forum are women.
Olga Tkachyova assumes that female community commitment is essential in both society and medical sphere. Society is like a big family and women’s role is to take care of it. Traditionally, women live longer than men as they lead healthier lifestyles. However, it is also important to take care of the whole society. So, social well-being truly depends on female health.
Viktoriya Ezhova, news agency of the EurasianWomen’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov