Ms Hendi LINGIAH, Clinical Psychologist,
This is following the welcoming messages and positive reactions to my postings I received after joining the forum. It is my pleasure to share information with you on any subjects related to the development sector in India, public health policy issues, and more specifically senior citizens welfare and the topic of Alzheimer's Disease. I regularly send my views on this website and take time to read your valuable contributions, paying attention to each of your responses.
French clinical psychologist based in France, I am from Indo-Mauritian origins. Born and brought up in France, I graduated in French Universities and started working in mental health institutions and social services. I came to India first in 2005 as a tourist and met the fascinating country of my forefathers.
But my interest for Alzheimer's Disease started in 2006 when I came back to India this time to work. The NGO I joined was well established in the field of senior citizen's welfare, very well-known at that time for opening a retirement township for retired people whishing to live an autonomous and still active retreat. This township included a small structure devoted to elderlys affected at the early stage and further of Alzheimer's Disease. It was a nice residential set-up of eight comfortable rooms with bathroom and one common activity room; it was located in a countryside part of India. That premise needed to be developed and enhanced, routine, assessments and residents health care, even material aspects had to be looked after.
All that year, was a challenge for me as I wasn’t familiar with the disease. We started working with doctors and psychiatrists and I have done in cooperation with them the follow-ups of patients, the interviews with families, the local staff supervisions… I also coordinated medical visits and interventions and even do night duty. In my task I was helped by the team onsite, it was tough time sometimes as I had to learn everything at the same time: disease signs, local languages and English, get used to the conditions of living, as it was an isolated site and the difference of culture with France. It was an interesting professional experience in a foreign country broadening my mind and my interest to the field of ageing and Alzheimer's Disease.
Today back in France, I decided to continue in that field and share my experience with you. It was my pleasure to contribute to the welfare of senior citizens in India. I know there are not enough specialists entirely devoted to this field or their action is limited due to lack of fund and good will. But these days in India, Ageing and Senior Care have started to become an issue and the government has started to react by integrating it in the public health policy. Let’s hope Indian Health Ministry will maintain a constant pace, be vigilant to any abuse, set-up official guidelines and implement strict standards.
Anyway Caring always raises ethical issues and in emerging countries where awareness has to be developed and where the Economy is fast growing, we must make sure the public health policy keep focus on Care and Welfare more than on Earning.
It is our duty to work together in this aim; a satisfactory society for its citizens is a society responding to their needs.
Ms Hendi LINGIAH,