Cyprus has a shortage of elderly caregivers

There is virtually no system of care for the elderly in Cyprus. This gives rise to a number of serious problems. From poor provision of services by unqualified professionals to outright quackery and criminal behavior on the part of “caregivers. The problem is to be solved by the national program, which will appear in the country in the near future. Now the government is actively working on the document.

Experts are formulating proposals

This topic was discussed at the session of the working committee on elderly people formed under the Ministry of Health. Members of the committee are working out a national strategy of elderly health care. At the moment this document is being prepared by the corresponding structures. The specialists are to introduce their own changes and proposals.

There are four main directions: prophylaxis, assistance to healthy aging, favorable environment and scientific research. It is necessary to more actively promote disease prevention among the elderly, to encourage physical activity, attention to the cardiovascular system, nutrition, and joints. All this can be realized with an increase in the number of geriatricians in the country.

Retirees will be taught digital literacy

The working committee recommends that more time be given to elderly patients in health centers, especially when it comes to rural areas. In addition, there is a need to step up explanatory and informational work. Older people need to be more actively introduced to new technologies that can help the elderly to socialize and take care of their own health. This is also largely due to the fact that GESI relies entirely on the electronic system of data registration and patient information.

There is a shortage of profile specialists

The issue of human resources plays a big role in supporting “healthy aging. Cyprus does not have enough specialized specialists. The problem can be solved by training more social workers and caregivers. The need for a comprehensive study of this problem is long overdue. Continuous training, educational work – all these are the components that form the system of gerontological care. Those who care for the elderly should be made more aware of the signs of the most common diseases of old age, particularly dementia.

Suppress quacks.

In many ways, this is a “gray area” – it is not uncommon for caregivers to work without a license, the necessary knowledge and skills. At the same time, retirees can become unhealthily dependent on the people who care for them. The committee also found large gaps in these professionals’ knowledge of the Greek language.

Another important issue is the lack of proper training of foreigners working in Cyprus in this field.

Specialized clinics are the solution

According to experts, the solution could be the organization of clinics of specialized care. The peculiarity of these institutions is that patients with the same disease are studied in groups. Such an approach could help, for example, diabetics better control their glucose levels.

Another problem highlighted by the experts is poor oral hygiene in the elderly. And yet this aspect is “important for overall health and well-being. According to official data, 40% of the elderly have not visited the dentist in the past year. About 19% of age patients have untreated caries, 70% suffer from periodontal disease.

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