ISLAMABAD – In a landmark development in the country’s healthcare history, leading doctors from across the country on Saturday announced to establish Pakistan Geriatrics Society, the country’s first society that will work on the healthcare needs of elderly people, in the concluding session of the First National Geriatrics Conference organised at Shifa International Hospital (SIH).

It is pertinent to mention that geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal or family medicine that focuses on the healthcare of elderly people. It aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.

Consultant Geriatrician at Shifa Dr Shahzad Khan Siddique informed the audience that currently very less work has been done on this very special and important issue of healthcare of elderly people. He said the newly establish society will press on the public and private sector to establish more facilities for the elderly people.

He said our aim is to improve health and quality of life of all elderly people. “We want to ensure that elderly people are treated with dignity and respect.”

He informed that the newly establish society will stress on the establishment of geriatric clubs across the country for those unattended elderly patients who cannot take care of themselves. Dr. Shahzad also said that work was recently been initiated with College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan to start specialization in geriatrics.

“We hope we will soon see young doctors doing specialization in geriatrics within Pakistan that will be a great achievement,” he added.

Many scientific sessions by specialists on different diseases of elderly people were organized in the conference in addition to a public awareness session and free screening camp for the patients.

Earlier, while addressing to public awareness session on various diseases of elderly people consultants said that neurological disorders like dementia, falls, muscle weakness, arthritis, major depression and side effects or drug use can cause multiple health issues for elderly people. Head Neurology Division SIH Dr. Arsalan Ahmad shed light on neurological disorders in elderly people such as dementia. He said dementia is the major cause of inactivity in later life.

He said memory loss and difficulty in problem solving and withdrawal from social activities are the main causes of dementia.

Dr. Shahzad Khan Siddique said falls in older age are common cause of fractures. He explained the ways to prevent falls. Associate Consultant Rheumatologist SIH Dr Asim Rehman briefed the audience on pain in joints and arthritis disease, its causes, symptoms and treatment options.

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Agha Khan University Hospital, Karachi Dr Saniya Sabazwari discussed urinary incontinence in old age with its symptoms and causes due to many diseases like bladder issues and diabetes as well as side effects of drug use. She also said that some drugs leave very serious side effects on patients. She stressed on the need to use drugs only with doctor’s prescription and not to share drugs with family members. Consultant Psychiatrist SIH Dr Wahab Yousafzai discussed depression and psychological issues people face in old age.

Besides Chief Executive Officer SIH Dr Manzoor H Qazi, Medical Director SIH Dr Salim Khan, Chancellor Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Dr Muhammad Ata, Head of Internal Medicine CMH, Rawalpindi Maj Gen Zafar Islam, consultant geriatrician from Singapore Dr Kaysar Mamun and a large number of doctors from across the country attended the conference.