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    Sharing Concerns for Elderly and Dementia Patients

    SARABURI, Thailand -- As part of Hanuman Guardian 2016, U.S. Army and Thai healthcare professionals gathered for a Subject Matter Expert Exchange to discuss current and relevant medical related topics at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Center, Saraburi, Thailand, June 28-29.

    The audience consisted of U.S. and Thai Army healthcare professionals, current Thai nursing students, and a group of community healthcare volunteers who work throughout the region.

    The Subject Matter Expert Exchange brought the latest research and treatment strategies for a variety of issues facing healthcare providers in the US and Thailand before the group for the purpose of open and frank discussion of concerns in both countries.

    Dr. Tasanee Aikvanich, a senior export with the Thai National Health Security Office, facilitated a discussion about the challenges of providing long term healthcare for an aging society.

    According to Aikvanich, speaking through a translator, by the year 2040, there will be an estimated 20.5 million people in Thailand over the age of 60.

    These figures, comparable to those of many countries around the world, require the healthcare community to consider key aspects of their healthcare systems such as available healthcare, social support, long-term care facilities, and the financial constraints associated with those requirements, said Aikvanich.

    Aikvanich outlined the current Thai policy on the elderly that was established in 2003 and revised in 2009 which prescribes achievement indicators for monitoring and evaluating the healthcare system during her portion of the exchange.

    Maj. April Fritch, a psychologist with the Washington Army National Guard Medical Command, followed Aikvanich by facilitating a discussion on the diagnosis and treatment of Dementia.

    Fitch selected the topic of dementia because she knew that the Community Health Engagement Team would be conducting home visits with the elderly during Hanuman Guardian 2016, which parallels the majority of her work with military retirees facing dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    “As global life expectancies increase, so do rates of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Fitch, “Both the U.S. and Thai medical personnel and systems will be challenged by the increased demand for elderly care.”

    Fitch added that the cognitive decline would have global impacts on the function of medical compliance, medical decision-making, and medical understanding of other chronic diseases.

    “Attention to the assessment and treatment of dementia will become increasingly critical to treating these populations,” said Fitch.

    Following the discussion, Fitch noted that the Thai healthcare system has developed a robust community healthcare program that sends volunteers to visit homebound patients that may require assistance with cognitive concerns, supervision, and/or additional resources to ensure patient safety, and medication compliance.

    “The Thai community focus and outreach programs are impressive; although the U.S. is starting to develop home visits by physicians, I think we are behind our Thai counterparts in terms of outreach and community involvement,” said Fitch.

    The two-day Subject Matter Expert Exchange provided an open forum for healthcare professionals to compare the systems currently in place in the U.S. and Thailand and garner a greater understanding of the challenges that both healthcare systems face in an ever-changing global healthcare environment.



    Date Taken: 06.30.2016
    Date Posted: 07.03.2016 02:46
    Story ID: 203053
    Location: SARABURI, TH

    Web Views: 107
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    Sharing Concerns for Elderly and Dementia Patients