Home-based healthcare has been a long-felt need in the city.
With the service slowly picking up in the city, it is the geriatric population that is most in need of care in the comfort of their homes.
In 2008, senior geriatrician V.S. Natarajan had introduced geriatric house call along with the Senior Citizens Bureau.
“We have an area-wise list of 30 doctors, and have catered to nearly 6,000 geriatric patients so far. We get two or three calls every day,” he said.
He said home-based care is essential for elderly patients. “Longevity, age-related disabilities and family members living abroad or outside the city have raised the need for home-based services. We are not able to reach out to persons in areas beyond Royapuram, Anna Nagar West or Chromepet, and are constantly asking doctors to join the programme,” he said.
J. Mark Baiada, founder of US-based Bayada Home Health Care, said the need for continuum of care, whether short-term or long-term, rises after a person is discharged from hospital. “It is here the need for home healthcare professionals comes in,” he said.
Though hospitals provide the required medical facilities, finding help at home is hard, said Sameer Mehta, director, India Home Health Care (IHHC). “If somebody is working abroad and has aged parents in the city, they now have Plan ‘B’. Home healthcare professionals can look after the parents at their place of comfort,” he said.
Persons recovering from surgery also need such services. “Now, we have a programme for children with special needs,” he said.
IHHC has 300 employees — registered nurses, associate nurses and medical caretakers — in Chennai and Bangalore, and caters to an equal number of persons in the two cities.
“We mostly cater to geriatric patients, followed by those with neurological disorders, orthopaedics and cancer patients. Doctor’s visits and physiotherapy are arranged,” said Anitha Arockiasamy of IHHC.
V. Thiyagarajan, founder-director of IHHC, said they have developed a patient care mobile application the nurses will carry for co-ordination of services and exchange of information, including to family members.