Extension Educator in the PHC, who periodically
projects slides in the community to impart public health education
on Family Planning, Maternal and child health. The slides
for Geriatric health education were also prepared and projected
along with the other slides. The services of the Department
of Public Health (Health Education), Govt. of Tamil Nadu,
were also utilised.
Health education is directed towards teaching
the elderly to lead an improved quality life. The changes
due to ageing are explained and the aged are encouraged not
to view these changes as signs of ill-health (e.g. slowed
activities, change in sleep pattern, poor digestion, bowel
habits, etc.), 'Old age is not a disease'.
The psychological, family and social life
of the elderly undergo changes that call for readjustment.
The nature of these changes and measures to overcome them
are explained through charts (e.g. 'Social isolation is deleterious
to mental health; it can be overcome by improving social interaction').
These measures are intended to improve the physical and mental
health of the elderly.
Towards prevention of illness and also the
disabilities from illness, the elderly are taught to recognise
early the ominous signs of major illnesses; Cancer, Hypertension,
Tuberculosis, Diabetes etc., and encouraged to take early
steps. Early help seeking behaviour as a preventive step was
emphasised. Cancer education formed an important part of the
programme. Posters carrying the message of preventing diseases
by abstaining from certain behaviours like smoking, chewing
betal and tobacco and alcohol drinks were displayed. The charts
on the nutritional needs and need for physical exercise in
the aged were also displayed.