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All things silver

Author: admin

The sprawling HITEX Exhibition Center in Hyderabad witnessed something unusual on a rather chilly weekend—15 and 16 December 2018. Over 3,000 people, comprising mainly silvers and their families, visited a first-of-its-kind event, Unmukt Festival, organised by KW Conferences and Shomex LLC.

Sixty exhibitors—including ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Capital, Covai Care, Seniority.in, Himalaya, Zero-G Beds, EmpowerJi and Ostrich Mobility—showcased over 500 products and multiple services at the festival. Harmony-Celebrate Age was the media partner for the event, which was unique for not just being India’s first event customised to meet the needs of silvers and provide lifestyle solutions for caregivers, but for bringing to the fore issues affecting the demographic, through meaningful discussions and interactive sessions over two days.

“The population of senior citizens in India is growing at a rapid rate and there is a need to reach out to them and apprise them of the preparedness by way of products, services and others, for this tsunami of ageing population is soon going to hit the country and change the dynamics, whether demographic or economic,” said Monimita Sarkar, Founder, Unmukt Festival. “The festival was planned and implemented to address this need.”

On Day 1, in her session on ‘Myth & Fact: Forgetfulness vs. Dementia’, Neha Sinha, co-founder & CEO, Epoch Elder Care, said, “Just like physical ageing, there is also mental ageing. There are certain symptoms of mental ageing, which does not necessarily mean you have an impairment—these could be decreased attention span, difficulty in concentration, slower processing of information and problem-solving, inability to remember every small detail. All these are normal.” Enlightening primary caregivers about the distinction between age-related forgetfulness and dementia, she added, “Trust your instincts about what is normal and what is not.”

In an interactive session on ‘Making your Money Work for You’, Kartik Damodar, CEO, Guardian Capital Investment Advisors, addressed the important issue of retirement planning. Speaking on whether owning a home is an absolute necessity, he said, “Living in a house you own is a luxury. If someone can live in a house they own after they provide for the other needs of 30 years of retirement, such as food, vehicle, regular medical care, emergencies, travel, etc, they need to maintain the lifestyle they want. This is not possible for everyone. Whether you own your house or rent it is not really relevant as long as you can afford all you want to do during your retired years.”

Home healthcare is expected to be 5-7 per cent of the total healthcare market in India. As technology becomes more easily operable and portable, it is estimated that up to 70 per cent of healthcare needs can be met in the home environment. Conducting a session titled ‘Demystifying Home Care’, Mitali Malani, Manager – Strategy and Product Development, CEO’s Office, Apollo Home Healthcare, shared, “Home healthcare is at least 30 per cent more cost-effective than hospitalisation (in terms of procedures). It also reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infection, especially as seniors are generally more vulnerable.” Revealing that home healthcare also reduces the stress on the patient as well as family members, she added, “Receiving healthcare at home also makes it easier for the person to revert to the pre-care routine and activity than coming back from the hospital.”

Day 2 began with an engaging panel discussion on ‘Prevention & Management of Lifestyle Ailments’. Throwing light on the topic of ortho-geriatrics, Dr K J Reddy, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Senior citizens who have fractured femur bones need special attention and care, as, in such cases, going by our experience, the mortality rate in the first six months is high.” Revealing that heart conditions are different in elders, Dr A G K Gokhale, Senior Heart Transplant and CT Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Heart attacks and valve disorders are common concerns in old age. Heart ailments can be prevented through regular check-ups and management of high blood pressure and diabetes. So, start early.” Addressing the mental health of silvers, Shashidhar K, Co-Founder & Trustee, ARDSI (Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India) – Hyderabad Deccan Chapter, emphasised, “Clear communication between older persons and family members is vital. Social networking is also an important part of the solution.”

“Travel is becoming easier even in a wheelchair.” Declaring this during an interesting interactive session on the topic, ‘Around the World at 80 Years’, Vani Subhas, Managing Partner, Hansa Holidays, shared, “First, have a frank talk with yourself about your needs and limitations during travel and go into details. Next, be honest with your travel agent about your requirements and health issues, if any. Last but not the least, don’t forget to go in for good travel insurance.” She also shared that theme travel—wellness and spa holidays, golf holidays, bridge tours, museum tours and symphony tours—is now much in demand among senior travellers.

Apart from these interactive sessions and discussions, the Google Outreach Team made presentations and conducted workshops on ‘Online Safety for All Ages’. The workshop encompassed recommendations to stay safe on the Internet and focused on identifying various threats,like phishing and fraud, along with an insight into financial safety.

Interestingly, an exclusive play zone at the event area turned out to be a huge hit among visitors—young and old! “Our objective to reach out to the community was well met with the launch event of the festival,” said Sarkar. “Now, we are preparing for the second edition.” We can’t wait!