The Quezon City Health Department currently implements a comprehensive health package program for the sick and bedridden elderly of Quezon City. A multi-disciplinary team of nutritionist, health center medical doctor, dentist, nurse and medical technologist home visits the sick elderly to provide the needed health and nutrition services.
The package of home health services include risk and nutritional assessment and counseling, medical and dental check-up, pneumococcal and flu vaccination, random blood sugar testing, blood pressure monitoring and provision of free medicines. It also includes transport assistance to the hospital for sick elderly that needs special care.
From September to November of 2016, 599 elderly were profiled and visited in their homes. Based on the results of the initial assessment of those visited, the five (5) leading causes of morbidity are post-stroke, hypertension, undernutrition, diabetes mellitus and diabetes with hypertension. On the other hand, the five (5) leading causes of mortality are pneumonia, stroke, all forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The programs uses a Comprehensive Health Approach adopted from Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010 whereas, “Article XIII, Section 11 of the Constitution provides that the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavour to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children”.
Under the comprehensive health package program of the city, the elderly are provided medical assistance and enrolled in PhilHealth, those disabled are given wheelchair, they are enrolled in PhilHealth, and the sick and bedridden are visited at home. Those elderly who are found to be underweight are given supplementary feeding.
Indeed, the program is “heaven-sent” especially to the sick and bedridden elderly. It also gives hope not only to the sick and underprivileged elderly but to their families as well.
Written by: Ms. Adelfa G. Gajelloma, Nutritionist-Dietitian II, Quezon City
Ms. Gajelloma is a member of the NCR Nutrition Writers’ Guild and C/DNPC of Metro Manila Association, Inc.