Senior citizens to counsel addicts

Senior citizens to counsel addicts

The department announced its intention to involve the elderly in counselling patients suffering from addiction problems, at a workshop on ‘Psycho-social care for the elderly’ on Tuesday, Dr R Dhanasekara Pandian, associate professor at the psychiatric social work department, said depression due to isolation was the most common problem among elders in the City.

“The nuclear families do not have any space for their elders now. Most of them shun the elderly due to the cost of living. Even if senior citizens are at home, they are denied social interaction which leaves them lonely. Often, elders are abused by their children,” he said.

The department is holding the workshop to train NGO members and geriatric care volunteers in engaging elders as ‘change agents’ or counsellors at the cessation centres.

Here, they can counsel patients with addiction problems.

The workshop mainly concentrated on incorporating mental health aspects in taking care of the elderly. Identification of social and mental health needs of the elderly and empowering caretakers with psycho-social skills.

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