More volunteers sought at health centre
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A CONSULTANT is seeking more public involvement and volunteers at the new Pusat Amal Cerah Sejahtera (PACS) health centre to help care for senior citizens.
Dr Muhammad Nurhassanuddin Abdullah Kelali said the new centre - which was previously located at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital - had been receiving positive public response since it started operations last month, especially now with the dementia support group being introduced at the centre.
In an interview yesterday, the consultant who deals with healthcare for the elderly said over 10 senior citizens have registered as members at the centre for the programmes.
He added that so far, family members of the patients have been involved and hands-on in their participation.
“A lot of the activities are not just patient-oriented but we want to create a community-based environment where the patient’s family and carers can be involved in the programmes,” he said.
Dr Muhammad Nurhassanuddin said the health centre offers therapy and counselling programmes, physiotherapy and even home-based nursing for patients who have difficulties in commuting.
The health professional went on to say that while there is already one centre set up for senior citizens at Lambak Kanan, PACS focuses on elderly patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and elderly with mobility issues.
Currently, there are not a lot of services for the elderly in Brunei, especially for frail elderly, he said.
“We want to involve family members’ participation as much as possible, it’s not where they (family) can just drop and leave, rather it is a place where we can encourage and educate about the condition of these patients,” the consultant added.
He continued to say that rather than relying on medical help from hospitals, the centre is looking into the integration of having a community-based centre where volunteers of all ages are welcome to help.
The consultant said there are plans to set up more health centres that cater to senior citizens, once there is enough manpower as the centre will need properly-trained staff to facilitate the programme.
“Chronic diseases among elderly citizens are on the rise, there may be fewer people to care for the growing population of older adults,” he added.
The Brunei Times