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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 16, december 1-15, 2009
Our Readers Write

Help for Seniors a call away

With the family physician concept gradually vanishing, the following information might be useful to readers:

The Senior Citizens Bureau recently launched a ‘geriatric housecall programme’ to attend to the urgent needs of the elderly in their homes.

Though the elderly enjoy longevity of life, they are prone to suffer from multiple problems like falls, stroke, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and urinary problems.

Doctors today are not in a position to make housecalls due to various reasons, like pressure of work, lack of time and difficulty in transport. When elders fall ill all of a sudden, medical aid is not only an urgent necessity for them, but has also to be given in their homes. Such denial of immediate medical attention leads to complications in the condition of the sick elderly.

To overcome this problem, the Senior Citizens Bureau, Chennai, has launched this Programme which offers a panel of doctors who have volunteered to give their services when called. Physiotherapists and psychologists have also joined the panel for housecall.

This is just a beginning and is confined at present to Chennai.


– The Programme is mainly to help the deserving elderly (70 and above), those with restricted mobility (60 and above), or to manage acute medical problems.

– Doctors residing in a particular area will attend to the ­elderly living in the same locality.

– General physicians or geriatricians are involved in the programme.

– Physiotherapists and Psychologists have also committed to serve this good cause.

– In an emergency situation, the family members can contact the closest Doctor enrolled in the Programme, either by phone or in person. In response, the Doctor will attend the call for immediate treatment or guide the caregiver over the phone. For emergency visits, it is better to provide necessary transport facilities. If necessary, after the visit, he may direct the patient for admission to a nearby hospital or nursing home.
It is better that family members get acquainted with the doctor closer to them and inform him about the elderly in their house. This will enable the doctor to know about the health status of the elderly persons well in advance.

– Regarding professional charges, it is up to the doctor and the relatives to decide about it.

– Family members are requested to use this scheme very carefully and not to disturb the doctor unnecessarily for minor problems.
We have also launched Geriatric Lab Services to do blood test for sick elderly in their homes.
Some elderly need nursing care personnel to attend to acute problems or to provide continuing support. The Programme provides a list of addresses of nurses, nursing aides or ayaas from this month onwards.
When an elderly person dies, to get a death certificate is really a problem for family members. This problem has been discussed with the panel of doctors and they have been requested to issue the death certificate at the earliest for a nominal charge or without charge, if possible. This has been accepted by the doctors.

– The phone numbers and addresses of the Housecall Programme’s doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists can be obtained from:

Dr. V.S. Natarajan – Adiparasakthi Clinic,
18A, Flowers Road, Kilpauk,
Chennai 600 010.
Phone No. 26412030

Senior Citizens Bureau
B-30, 1st Floor, Anna Nagar
East, Chennai 600 102.
(Behind Titan Showroom)
Phone No. 26282018

Capt. Dr. M. Singaraja
90(93), Rama Naicken Street,
Chennai 600 034.
Phone No. 28231388

Mr. Murugaiyan
Cell: 98841 45189

Mr. R. Madhavan
Cell: 94445 77539

Mrs. Vimala Rajaram
Cell: 94453 29562

Dr. V.S. Natarajan
Prof. & Head of the Department of
Geriatric Medicine,
Madras Medical College
Chairman, Senior Citizens Bureau

Attestation info

With reference to reader D. Subbaraman’s grievance (MM, November 16th), the LIC wants the certificate every year or once every five years, depending on the option exercised. Their latest notice specifies attestation by a bank branch manager/gazetted officer/registered medical practitioner/postmaster/school or college principal/Class I Government officer, semi-Government, quasi-Government/public sector undertaking officer/LIC officer or agent or development officer with their official stamp, etc. Anyone will do.

The UN Pension Fund also requires an annual existence certificate, but with only the pensioner’s own signature without any attestation.

K.P. Mahalingam
6B, The Peninsula
778, Poonamalle High Road
Chennai 600 010

Proposed new bridge

The Mayor’s declaration recently that a new 4-lane bridge, 60-feet wide and 150-feet long, will be built across the Buckingham Canal in place of the bridge that recently collapsed is welcome news for residents of Indira Nagar, Sastri Nagar, Besant Nagar and the neighbouring areas. It will cut short the time wasted by going circuitously along Sardar Patel Road, Madhya Kailash signal and on to Taramani Road to reach the IT corridor.

But since the Taramani superhighway is six lanes, traffic flow on it should not be interrupted at any cost. Hence the new bridge should have an approach from the Indira Nagar water tank side through a rising gradient and the bridge should be at least 15 feet above the present road level, if not more. The design of the new bridge should be such that it does not in any way obstruct the free flow of traffic on the superhighway. This is an essential point to be borne in mind.

Since the bridge is 150-feet long, it will perhaps take care of the required gradient.

The Indira Nagar water tank road junction, which is a meeting point of I, II and III Avenues and is quite large in size, should be so designed as only to allow traffic from and to the new bridge in a smooth and even flow. Probably, a mini grade-separator may be required.

On either side of the six-lane superhighway, service roads should be formed with at least 10 to 15 feet width with a suitable gradient for the traffic to flow smoothly in both directions to and from the new bridge. It can be short in length. As the climb is only 15 feet, even a 50-feet length may suffice.

As the left and right extreme lanes will take care of the traffic from the bridge to the Taramani side and from Madhya Kailash to the bridge, it need not cross the superhighway and could use the service road of, say, 50 feet length along the Buckingham Canal with a suitable gradient to reach the bridge 15 feet high. The two middle lanes will have to cross the superhighway to reach the service roads on the CPT side to take care of the traffic from Taramani to Indira Nagar and from Indira Nagar to Madhya Kailash. These service roads should be at least 50 feet long on either side to take care of the gradient to reach the bridge 15 feet high. Procurement of land may not be a problem as it is either railway land or State Government land on both sides of the superhighway. The cost may escalate to about Rs. 2 crore by this, but it will be worthwhile to spend on this project, considering the long-term benefits involved.

K.S. Krishnaswamy
B 1, Ashok Suparna
27, Third Main Road
Kasturba Nagar, Adyar
Chennai 600 020

Western music

We tend to dwell at length on Carnatic music and pay some attention to Hindustani music. But we should find a place for Western music (MM, September 1st).

Western music is intertwined with the history of the city. Its practitioners have made significant contributions to the music of the city.

AIR, Madras, once gave it importance in its special slots for Western Classical music late in the evenings on its ‘B’ channel. It even established a separate unit for Western music in the station. This unit was headed by the legendary Handel Manuel whose mastery over the piano was magical. The piano Handel played with his deft and swift fingers to the delight of a small but knowledgeable audience is still kept in the AIR station with a sense of pride and devotion. For some, the never-ending waves of the Marina would resonate with the magical notes Handel produced on this vintage instrument, while others will no doubt wonder why the piano has fallen silent these days.

V. Thiruvengadam
28, Phase 2
Heritage Vijayendra Nagar
Perungudi, Chennai-600 096

The Gandhian way

You have done a great service by publishing the article on Ilam Gandhi (MM, November 1st). It should be a stirring example to the students of IIT, in particular, who serve in MNCs in the US. The article truly serves cause.

I do not know whether Senthil drew the motto and inspiration from the Jesuits who serve in St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchi, but as a former student of this great institution, I have heard the names of Fr. Honore (Physics), and Fr. Pruvot (Mathematics) who were original contributors to science in France. They transplanted the stamp of eminence in teaching in the two disciplines in the College, making it a great one.

Dr. R. Parthasarathy
Professor (Retd), IIT- Madras
“Harverlee”, Plot No. 42
Ram Nagar 1st Street
Velachery, Chennai 600 042

Exemplary article

The article about Mylapore by Mrs. Sundari Mani (MM, October 16th) made very good reading. Though I am not old enough to remember most of what she has mentioned, my late grandmother and father have told me quite a few experiences of what Mrs. Mani has mentioned. The article is exemplary in its content and language. May she continue to contribute more such articles.

Dr. K. Ravi
3, Second Link Street
CIT Colony
Chennai 600 004


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