Workshop on Palliative, Hospice, and Geriatrics Inaugurated at ATWS, Dharamsala
By ATWS Staff Editor
ATWS Dharamsala, July 11, 2023: A five-day Workshop on Palliative, Hospice, and Geriatrics jointly organized by the Health and Home Department, CTA was inaugurated yesterday at the Administrative Training and Welfare Society, Dharamsala.
Around twenty-seven participants comprising seventeen doctors and Old People’s Home (OPH) nurses from various settlements and institutions across India and Nepal and ten staff from CTA Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala are attending the workshop. ATWS is providing the venue facilities and services during the workshop.
The workshop under the elderly care program which was incepted last year is aimed to equip the health care providers in delivering holistic and compassionate care for the elderly Tibetans living in the Tibetan settlements.
Geshe Lhakdor la; Dharamsala LTWA Director, Dr. Lobsang Tsering la; the Tibet Fund Health Consultant and Dr. Tsewang Ngodup la; US-based Faculty Physician, Assistant Professor, and Medical Director are leading various sessions like an overview of Healthcare, Geriatrics: Comprehensive Assessment & Services, Geriatrics: Mobility, Mind /mentation, Medications, Matters most and Multi-complexity, Communications, the Tibetan Buddhist practices and well-being, the four foundations of Buddhist Mindfulness, Hospice, Death & Dying in Tibetan Buddhist Teachings, Case studies, Eldercare Assessment Tools, monitoring checklist, Exploring Data Aggregation, Analysis, and visualizations.
The workshop kick started with the auspicious butter lamp lighting by the chief guest Home Secretary and was also presided over by Health Additional Secretary, Mrs. Dickey Dolker la, and the trainers in the morning. The event was also graced in the afternoon by Sikyong /President, CTA, Mr. Penpa Tsering la who is minister of the Home and Health Department as well.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering la, in his brief meeting, stressed the importance of rendering the elderly healthcare services with love and compassion. He welcomed the participants to put up their suggestions to the administration for further improvement as they are better acquainted with the real ground-level situations of the settlements. Further, he emphasized having a proper follow-up whenever work is done or planned by keeping in mind the long-term vision to serve the community as a whole. Specifically, he advised the senior leaders of the Health and Home departments to discuss and formulate a standard elderly health care implementation guideline as per information received from reliable sources.
Home Department Secretary, Mr. Palden Dhondup la in his keynote address extensively explained the importance of elderly care services in the light of the impermanence of human life and called it the highest form of altruism and social service to the community. “Helping the needy ones at the most critical stage of their life is indeed the responsibility of an administration and an individual civil servant towards nurturing one’s nationality,” he said. He therefore sincerely urged the younger generation to pay deeper attention towards taking care of the elderly people and also sincerely thanked the trainers for their selfless contributions and commitments to the community till now. The settlement-level civil servants were also especially thanked for immersing themselves into day to day problems to serve one’s community selflessly while Health Additional Secretary, Mrs. Dickey Dolker la introduced the purpose of the workshop as to alleviate the physical and mental pain that the older generation goes through due to the lack of proper elderly health care systems in place when their youngsters migrate across various countries in search of better job opportunities and also spoke about the department’s commitment to implement services as per resolutions being passed in these workshops.
Similarly, the trainers, Dr. Tsewang Ngodup la while introducing the first part of the workshop spoke about how apt the palliative care service is in today’s world. He said that expensive clinical treatments beyond a particular age limit as tried conventionally are futile in contrast to the reality of the situation. People, therefore, need to develop a better understanding and acceptance of aging-related facts while many still lack acceptance of the reality of situations. Palliative care, Hospice, and Geriatrics are emerging science to transform the life of an old aged person into a more meaningful and qualitative one.
The second trainer, Dr. Lobsang Tenzin la on the other hand spoke about how the workshop was incepted last year as part of the elderly care program after a detailed data review where the demographic data of old aged people in India was found highest. He then stressed the importance of the sustainability of the program and building the capacity of the overall health workforce to sustain the overall pool of the workforce for healthcare services.
In the coming days, participants and the trainers will discuss on different aspects of Palliative care, Hospice, and Geriatrics, and the department seniors will discuss to formulate a standard elderly care implementation guideline.