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News : Exclusive Helpline for Senior Citizens Gaining Popularity
Maduri, India, July 17, 2015 -- A 22-year-old man living in Madurai noticed that his elderly mother had recently been behaving oddly, laughing uncontrollably at times and suffering from sleeplessness. She would look suspiciously at the gate and complain to her son that someone was looking at her. When things began to get out of control, the son contacted '104' helpline for elderly people, and explained her symptoms to the counsellors on line.
The psychologists realised that she was suffering from a condition called psychosis, where the person gradually lose touch with reality. They referred her to experts in psychology who could get her help.
The 'geriatic services for senior citizens' helpline, which was launched in the state on July 3, is slowly gaining popularity. The helpline number '104' has received 1,200 calls from across the state, of which around 132 calls were from Madurai alone. Calls were similarly received from Coimbatore, Trichy, Salem and Chennai.
The counsellors managing the helpline said the most of the calls made from Madurai district were related to alcohol addiction faced by elderly people. People who drink alcohol all day long constantly pick up quarrels, creating disturbance for their neighbours.
Psychologist at '104' Helpline number B Elayaraja said, "It becomes difficult for the sons and daughters to manage an elderly father who has alcohol addiction." They call the helpline number to seek counseling for the parent.
The person is given de-addiciton counselling. They are asked to consume more water and food to divert their attention from alcohol. In cases of psychological distress, the cousellors ask the family members to give a brief history of the patient to ascertain whether they had suffered any trauma in the adolescent years, before referring them to another doctor.
The helpline also receives calls from elderly people who complained that their sons or daughters were not taking care of them. Some of the callers also suffered from sleep issues, the counsellors said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, July 20, 2015