There is a need to create a large number of geriatric consultants

In the last article we talked about the need to create a cadre of trained and qualified caregivers to provide comfort and basic support to the sick elderly in India who can number as many as 27 million. In addition to the nursing staff, we also need a large number of trained geriatric counselors. These are educated and trained professionals who can provide counseling support to older people to address their emotional and psychological issues, which are vital.

Many older people suffer from serious emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, acute feelings of loneliness, fear of death and others. While clinical depression requires medical intervention, there is also a need to help older people with emotional and caring support from trained counselors.

Here, geriatric counselors complement family efforts, community support, and medical intervention. In today’s context of dying off of extended families and the need to stay alone, there is a greater need for such emotional intervention by outside experts, e.g. B. Geriatric consultants.

Consultation process and challenges:

The process of each consultation is broadly similar and broadly involves the following steps:

1. Relationship building: This is the first stage where there is open communication between the counselor and the older person and this leads to mutual understanding, togetherness and trust. This relationship building is essential otherwise the counselor will not be able to offer further support as it may not be accepted by the elderly.

2. Identification of the problem: This is crucial as the intervention process/tools depend on what the problem is. Symptoms don’t necessarily have to be the cause, but it can be the result of some other deeper problem. Understanding the emotional/psychological aspect of the underlying issues faced by older people becomes crucial. The counselor’s knowledge/training becomes useful to analyze core issues faced by older people.

3. Creating a roadmap: Here comes the path where the counselor, in consultation with the older client, develops a strategy to address the patient’s problems. This helps the consultant to develop remedial actions to deal with the problem(s) at hand. It must be clear that the counselor is providing professional support and should therefore not become emotionally attached to older people. Being impartial and professional at the same time is the hallmark of a true consultant.

4. Company audit: This is crucial as it helps assess the impact of the counseling and its effectiveness. This will also help the counselor to change the route of support if necessary.

The above process implies that counseling involves a scientific way of evaluating problems faced by an older person and trying to provide an emotional/psychological support system to counteract them.
This is dome through camaraderie, friendly advice, assistance
empowering older people to become stronger and stand on their feet, and
always a friendly support.

However, the challenges are manifold. As elders face different types of problems both physical and spiritual, it can sometimes be difficult to do so
offer solutions for everyone. Elders could also look at the counselors with one another
Recognizing distrust and gaining trust is a difficult task. To get those
Results on a medium to long term basis is the other difficult issue in the
context of problems related to older people.

These challenges become serious when counselors are confronted with older people suffering from serious mental illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s
Parkinson’s. Dealing with these elderly patients requires a special attitude
the consultant is in demand in addition to technical skills. That
caring attitude and deep empathy are two important attitudes
which every successful counselor should possess alongside other practical knowledge such as games, music, simple puzzles and other activities.

Difference between a counselor and a caregiver:

The question often arises where these two terms are synonymous
about their role on the ground. There is a subtle difference between
the two. While the caregivers work on site and take care of physical and
sometimes daily mental activities of older people, counselors
deal with psychological aspects through emotional support. Of
Of course, caregivers become better at their roles when they are cared for
Basics of Counseling. At the same time, trained consultants are also involved
sometimes act as supervisors. But basically they have it
playing different roles when it comes to older issues.

Positive effect of the consultation:

Counseling has a major impact on the lives of older people. A good
The counseling process can help older people feel better, more agile and happier.
There are many instances where we have seen the elders suffer
serious problems such as anxiety or depression that recover and lead to a
normal life. A good counselor is like a “God-sent angel” to the elderly.
and blessings in the process of happy aging.

Current scenario and outlook:

There are very few dedicated geriatric education programs
Consulting in India. To address the growing psychological problems faced
elderly, the country needs a large number (can be up to 10,000-15,000
per year according to some estimates) by geriatric consultants. They are
in retirement homes, day care centers, geriatric wards of hospitals,
palliative care hospitals and similar places. There is scope for content
for geriatric consultants to start their business creation. This
Entrepreneurial advisers can provide support to ‘elderly people on an as-needed basis’
through contacts provided by visions NGOs. There is also an urgent
Need to sensitize children and young people to problems
older people and these geriatric counselors can play an important role in this process.
India is a country where there is significant scope for educated and
experienced geriatric counselors who can support elderly people in need
process of their happy aging.


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