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How to get the elderly up and moving

Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are a diverse group of diseases that commonly affect the joints, but can also affect the muscles, other tissues and internal organs. There are more than 200 different RMDs, affecting both children and adults. They are usually caused by problems of the immune system, inflammation, infections or gradual deterioration of joints, muscle and bones. Many of these diseases are long term and worsen over time. They are typically painful and Iimit function. In severe cases, RMDs can result in significant disability, having a major impact on both quality of life and life expectancy.

Arthritis and osteoporosis along with muscle sarcopenia affect the mobility of the elderly, often making them a burden on the society. That is why physicians and physiotherapists came together with the objective of building synergies in a day-long event with the theme ‘Locomotion Disability Prev-ention in Senior Citizens’. Participants came from Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital in collaboration with the Bone and Joints Society, Indian Orthopedic Association – Delhi Chapter, Dr Joints Group of Clinics and GD Goenka University, Gurugram.

It was discussed that the key lies in early detection and that can be accomplished by sensitising the first line of medical personnel who come in contact with senior citizens. The important topics covered included locomotion syndrome, sarcopenia, gait disturbances, degenerative versus inflam-matory arthritis, data collection in arthritis and osteoporosis, fragility fractures, guidelines for the pharmacological management of osteoporosis, use of robotics in joint replacement surgeries, bone regeneration and optimisation of post-surgery outcomes.

One of the most interesting and unique session was a panel discussion on various means for Senior Citizen Locomotion Disability Prevention. Suggestions included a national programme for Senior Citizens, better insurance coverage, desired changes in curriculum in school and higher institutions and right to health. Fortis management actively discussed the moot points in Public Private Partnership (PPP) health models.       n