Kathmandu, April 10
The National Human Rights Commission today held a discussion with geriatric experts regarding the problems of senior citizens.
The NHRC and experts suggested that stake holders should establish at least one geriatric hospital in each province, ensure free medical treatment for needy patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer and paralysis, pay fee of economically backward persons living in care centres, ensure regular medical check-up and conduct health camp at elderly homes.
They also suggested that all hospitals should have a separate ward for mentally unsound persons and a geriatric ward and all elderly homes should have health workers and medicines.
They also dwelt on incorporating subject matters related to medical treatment and healthcare of senior citizens into the curricula of MBBS and nursing.
The experts underscored the need for the NHRC to inspect and monitor the condition of geriatric wards at hospitals. According to the rights body, the experts also emphasised on immediate implementation of recommendations by the NHRC to the government towards ensuring dignified life for senior citizens in their autumn years.
Recently, the NHRC had recommended that the government should improve the living condition of senior citizens. As hundreds of elderly people do not have any option to live with their sons, daughters-in-law, grandsons and granddaughters, they end up at elderly homes. Death of spouse, lack of caretakers and family affection compel senior citizens to take shelter in elderly homes. As many as 141 elderly homes are in operation in 64 districts.
NHRC Chairperson Anup Raj Sharma said issues of human rights were multi-dimensional as they did not encompass only health, food and drinking water. He said the NHRC had recommended that the government should establish geriatric hospital for senior citizens on the basis of the report prepared after inspecting and monitoring elderly homes and care centres across the country.
Earlier, a seven-member geriatric expert group headed by Gaurishankar Lal Das, a former NHRC member, was formed to suggest to the rights body ways to ensure easy access to health services for senior citizens.
A version of this article appears in print on April 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.